Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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April 22, 2013
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April 22, 2013
Jesus Drives Merchants Out Of The Temple, Money-Making Bible Hucksters Who Make Merchandise Of You, In My Father's House, God's True House Is In Heaven, Jesus Went To Prepare A Place For Us, Temple Veil Is Rent In Twain At Time Of Jesus' Death, Holy Place And The Holy Of Holies, Jesus Died Once To Atone For The Sins Of All Men, Jesus Is Our Eternal High Priest And Only Mediator And Intercessor, New Testament And New Covenant Between God And Man Which Is Sealed With The Blood Of Christ, Gentiles Were Forbidden To Enter Jewish Temple, Temple Veil Symbolized Physical And Spiritual Barriers Between Jews And Gentiles, Salvation Was Only Available To Jews Prior To The Crucifixion Of Christ, The Apostles Realize That Salvation Is Meant For All Men, Jesus Broke Down Middle Wall Of Partition, In His Name Shall The Gentiles Trust, No Distinction Between Jews And Gentiles, Jews Have No Advantage, Chosen People Are Those People Who Place Their Faith In Christ, We Are All One In Christ Jesus, Jewish Elders: The Blind Leading The Blind
In their endeavors to justify the physical church system, not only do some religionists point to the fact that Jesus taught in the Temple, and the Apostles later preached in the Temple, but sometimes they also mention the fact that when Jesus went into the Temple and drove out the moneychangers and merchants, He referred to the Temple as "my Father's house", as we see by the following verses:
"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."
John 2:13-16, KJV
However, in light of everything that Jesus said regarding the corrupt religious system of the Scribes and the Pharisees, is it possible that modern-day religionists have misunderstood the Lord's words? Furthermore, does it make any sense that He would refer to the Temple as His Father's house, and then turn around and prophesy of its coming destruction? Finally, if we consider all of the verses which we have now examined, which show us that God most certainly does not dwell in houses that are made out of stone, concrete and steel; rather, His Spirit dwells in the temples of our very own bodies, does this not suggest that Jesus was saying something other than what some religionists would like for us to believe?
Personally, I am convinced of this very fact. I believe that some people have simply misunderstood the tone of what Jesus was saying when He said "my Father's house". In other words, based upon all previous evidence, I am convinced that Jesus was really saying "what you claim is my Father's house'. He did not believe it for a minute. Jesus saw the hypocrisy of that place. He was well aware of the lies and deception that were spun in that place. He knew of the oppressive system of bondage which kept the common people dependent on that place. He knew of the centuries of blood which was already on the hands of those hypocritical religious leaders who feigned holiness before the common people.
Thus, I believe that what the Lord really intended for us to understand was "You hypocrites call this Temple my Father's house; but look at what you have done to it! You have turned it into a den of thieves where you grow rich at the expense of the poor!". As I point out in a number of other articles such as "Money-Making Bible Hucksters and Mammon" and "MP3's, Commercialized Christianity and Christian Hypocrisy", this sounds very much like the modern false church system as well. In particular, it sounds a lot like the deceptive prosperity gospel which is so popular amongst certain preachers these days. Notice how Jesus uses the phrase "house of merchandise" in the previous verses. Now look at what the Apostle Peter has to say regarding this very same subject:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And THROUGH COVETOUSNESS SHALL THEY WITH FEIGNED WORDS MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
2 Peter 2:1-3, KJV
Truly, there is nothing new under the Sun. However, the most convincing Scriptural evidence which proves that the Lord did not really believe that the Temple in Jerusalem was actually His Father's house can be found in the following verses which are also in the Gospel of John. Be inspired, my friends:
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
John 14:1-3, KJV
Is that clear enough for you? As we saw earlier, Heaven is God's Throne, and that is where His true House is located. There is no physical structure on Earth which can possibly ever contain Him; not the Temple two thousand years ago, or any church buildings, cathedrals, temples or mosques today. A man-made temple is not God's house, or His throne. Therefore, Jesus could not possibly believe that the Temple in Jerusalem was really His Father's house, and then turn around and tell His followers that His Father's House is in Heaven. As these verses clearly indicate, Jesus returned to His Father's true House, in order to prepare a place for the Apostles, as well as for us one of these days.
Have you had enough yet? I hope not, because I still have one more piece of important evidence to share with you which will reveal why I do not think that Jesus actually believed that the Temple in Jerusalem was His Father's house. At the time that Jesus died on the Cross, something very significant also occurred in the Temple. We read about this important event in all three Synoptic Gospels, as we see by these verses:
"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"
Matthew 27:51, KJV
"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."
Mark 15:38, KJV
"And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
Luke 23:45, KJV
For those of you who may not be familiar with the veil which is mentioned in the previous verses, it separated that part of the Temple where the priests usually ministered -- which was called the "holy place" -- from the innermost part of the Temple where the Ark of the Covenant was situated. Only the high priest was permitted to enter into this innermost part of the Temple -- which was called the "holy of holies" amongst other names -- one time each year in order to make atonement -- or expiation -- for the sins of the people. This was all mandated by God, to Moses, in the Torah -- or Pentateuch -- of the Old Testament. These are the first five Books of the Bible.
So why then would God the Father rip this veil in half from top to bottom at the time of His Son's Death on the Cross? As the following verses reveal, and as I explain in a number of other articles such as "Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?", "The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words" and "Endless Genealogies and Endtime Deception", just as the Jewish high priest would enter into the holy of holies one time each year in order to offer atonement for the sins of the people, in a similar manner, Jesus Christ died one time, for all time, on the Cross, in order to make atonement for the sins of the whole world:
"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin ONCE: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."
Romans 6:9-10, KJV
"But this man, [Jesus] because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did ONCE, when he offered up himself."
Hebrews 7:24-27, KJV
"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
Hebrews 9:11-12, KJV
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself . . . So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
HebreHebrews 9:24-26, 28, KJV
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all."
Hebrews 10:10, KJV
"For Christ also hath ONCE suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
1 Peter 3:18, KJV
As some of the previous verses reveal, by shedding His pure, innocent Blood on the Cross -- just as unblemished animals were sacrificed during the Old Testament period -- Jesus became our new and eternal High Priest, thus replacing the necessity of the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament era. This truth is again confirmed for us by verses such as the following:
"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."
Hebrews 2:16-7, KJV
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house."
Hebrews 3:1-2, KJV
"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:14-15, KJV
"Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."
Hebrews 6:20, KJV
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;"
Hebrews 8:1, KJV
By becoming the eternal High Priest of Believers everywhere, Jesus also became our only Mediator and Intercessor with God the Father, as the following verses also clearly confirm:
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Romans 8:34, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
1 Timothy 2:5, KJV
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Hebrews 7:25, KJV
By way of this Divine Agreement between the Father and Jesus, -- which I discuss in "Backsliding, Divine Chastisement and the Divine Agreement", as I have already mentioned, Jesus put an end to the Old Testament -- that is, the Old Covenant -- and He introduced and ratified a New Testament -- or Covenant -- with His Father, which is sealed with His own Blood. This Scriptural truth is again confirmed by the following verses:
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Matthew 26:28, KJV
"And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."
Mark 14:24, KJV
"Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:20, KJV
"After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."
1 Corinthians 11:25, KJV
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
2 Corinthians 3:6, KJV
"But now hath he [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
Hebrews 8:6-13, KJV
"And for this cause he [Jesus] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
Hebrews 9:15, KJV
"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
Hebrews 12:24, KJV
Now, here is the part of the Agreement which is of importance to us. Whereas the Old Testament -- or Old Covenant -- only concerned the Jewish nation, this New Covenant concerns the entire world. As some of you will know, it was forbidden for non-Jews -- or Gentiles -- to enter the Temple itself. It was completely off-limits to them. Gentiles were viewed as being unclean by the Jews. Ironically, today the opposite is true. Any Jew who rejects Jesus is viewed as being unclean by God. Furthermore, in order to keep the peace on the Temple Mount -- or Mount Moriah -- the Israeli government enforces a ban on prayer by non-Muslim visitors. Thus, the tables have been completely turned on the Jews.
At any rate, because of the negative Jewish attitude towards Gentiles, notice what happened when the Apostle Paul decided to purify himself in the Temple, in order to convince the legalistic Jews that he was not really a lawbreaker, meaning the Mosaic Law. The Jews from Asia purposely stirred up some trouble, based on the rumor that Paul had taken an Ephesian -- and thus a Gentile -- into the Temple:
"Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut."
Acts 21:26-30, KJV
Thus we can see how the physical veil in the Temple actually served as a powerful symbol of both the physical and spiritual barriers which separated the Jews from the Gentiles prior to the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Salvation was only available to the Jews, which is why even Jesus stated the following in the Gospel of Matthew:
"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 10:5-7, KJV
"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Matthew 15:24, KJV
However, once Jesus shed His innocent Blood on the Cross, it is apparent that everything suddenly changed, at least from a spiritual perspective. As I point out in other articles, it took some time for the Apostles to realize that Salvation was no longer a closed club that was just meant for the Jew. Once the Apostle Peter had his vision in Acts chapter ten, and the Apostle Paul turned to the Gentiles due to the stubbornness of his own Jewish brethren, the situation regarding Gentiles changed rather quickly after that, and we have benefited from it ever since then.
Thus, in the following verses, reflecting back on a prophecy that is found in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, we see how it was prophesied that by way of His own flesh being rent on the Cross -- just as the Temple veil was rent -- Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition, so that we Gentiles could also trust in the precious Name of Jesus, and thus be saved. We can now pass through the veil, and approach the Throne of Grace with boldness, because of what Jesus did for us as our High Priest and Sacrificial Lamb. I also discuss these issues in such articles as "Once Upon a Time: A True Story".
In short, there is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile when it comes to matters regarding Salvation. As the Apostle Paul clearly informs us, we are all one in Christ Jesus. In other words, Jews have no advantage over Gentiles. As I point out in such articles as "Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen" and "Not Everyone is a Child of God", the only chosen people there are, are those individuals who humbly accept Christ:
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, THROUGH THE VEIL, THAT IS TO SAY, HIS FLESH; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Hebrews 10:19-22, KJV
"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BETWEEN US; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. FOR THROUGH HIM WE BOTH HAVE ACCESS BY ONE SPIRIT UNTO THE FATHER."
Ephesians 2:11-18, KJV
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
Isaiah 11:10, KJV
"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. AND IN HIS NAME SHALL THE GENTILES TRUST."
Matthew 12:18-21, KJV
"And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES TRUST."
Romans 15:12, KJV
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 3:28, KJV
"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
John 10:16, KJV
While I have now explained to you the spiritual significance of the Temple veil being torn from top to bottom after Jesus had died on the Cross, we aren't through with this topic yet. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the Temple veil being rent in half may possibly offer additional evidence regarding why Jesus would not really view the Temple as being the house of His Father. While the previous paragraphs explain the main reason why it probably happened, I am very doubtful that the blind, hard-hearted Jewish religious elders would have really understand this at the time. After all, as both Jesus and Paul clearly noted, they were the blind leading the blind, as we can easily determine by the following verses:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other."
Mark 3:5, KJV
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
Romans 11:8, 25, KJV
If the Apostles themselves were slow to understand the full significance of Christ's Death on the Cross, how much more so would this apply to those vile Jewish religious leaders who handed Jesus over to the Romans to be mocked, tortured and ultimately crucified? This is why I have long believed that there may possibly be additional reasons regarding why God allowed the Temple veil to be torn at the time of the Death of His Son.
Please go to part five for the continuation of this series.
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