The Temple of the Believer

The Temple of the Believer


© 2005 Tony Garland

  1. John 16

    1. Please turn with me in your bibles to John chapter 16.

    2. Beginning with verse 1 . . .(read verses 1 through 7).

    3. Explain context – looking ahead to persecution. Words of encouragement. ENIGMA: “it is to your advantage that I go away!”

  2. Coming of the Helper Depends upon the Departure of Jesus

    1. John 16:7
      Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

    2. John 7:38-39
      "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    3. If the Holy Spirit, being God, is omnipresent, how could John explain that He had not yet come? Wasn’t He active throughout the OT? Wasn’t John the Baptist “filled with the Spirit” from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15)?

  3. A New Permanence to the Ministry of the Spirit

    1. John 14:16-18
      "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you [all] and will be in you [all]. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

      1. forever – once He arrives, He will never leave

        1. Sealed with Holy Spirit as a Guarantee

          1. 2 Co 1:21-22 - Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

            1. Guarantee is arrabōna
              transliterated from the Hebrew; literally, as a legal and commercial technical term, an advance transaction that guarantees the validity of a contract or a full purchase price down payment, first installment, pledge1

          2. Eph 1:13-14 - In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

          3. Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for [eis, until, unto] the day of redemption.

          4. This sealing speaks of ownership, permanence, and security because the sealer and owner is God.

        2. Prior to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes and goes in lives of believers

          1. Taken from Saul at the anointing of David
            1 Samuel 16:13-14 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.

          2. David’s prayer - Psalms 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

          3. Ezekiel - it is said on separate occasions that the Spirit entered into Ezekiel (Eze 2:2; Eze 3:24). How could this be if Ezekiel was permanently indwelled?

          4. The only person permanently indwelt by the Spirit prior to Pentecost was Jesus Himself – another indication of His perfection:

            1. John 1:32-33 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

        3. The Permanence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our age is not about how good we are or any superiority on our part in relation to OT believers.

          1. It is entirely due to the effectual work of Jesus on the cross.

          2. It is related to God’s purpose for the “Body of Christ” ministering in Christ’s absence.

      2. John 14:17 (continued) - He dwells with you [all] and will be in you [all].

        1. Presently “with”

        2. Future “in”

          1. John 14:20 "At that day you will know that I [am] in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

          2. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

            1. Home is monēn, from the verb “to abide, to dwell”

            2. At the beginning of chapter 14, Jesus spoke of different, but similar “dwelling places” (“mansions,” KJV) in the Father’s house in heaven made ready for believers.

            3. This then, is dwelling place of God between the Day of Pentecost and Jesus’ return for believers to take them to dwelling places in the Father’s house (John 14:2).

  4. What about the departure of Jesus enables this new ministry of the Spirit?

    1. Required: The Glorification of Jesus

      1. John 7:39 - …for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.

      2. Jesus was glorified at the cross

        1. John 13:31-32
          So, when he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.”

        2. John 17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,”

        3. John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

    2. How did Jesus’ work on the Cross establish this New Ministry of the Spirit?

      1. We need an understanding of sin, God’s holiness, and the concept of Temple.

  5. The Dwelling-Place of God: the Temple

    1. A key theme of Scripture – the relationship of man with God.

    2. The problem of sin – bringing separation between God and man.

    3. Temple – where sinful man can approach a Holy God under conditions of mediation.

      1. Three elements: (1) sin, (2) holiness, (3) mediation.

      2. Mediation is “managed separation” according to prescribed procedures.

      3. Isaiah’s encounter with God’s throne illustrates all three elements - Isaiah 6:5-7
        So I said: "Woe [is] me, for I am undone! Because I [am] a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal [which] he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth [with it], and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged."

      4. God will not abide indefinitely with sin, it must be cleansed.

      5. But OT procedures involving the blood of animals were only a temporal remedy for sin – lacking in permanent effectiveness.

  6. A Final Cleansing of Sin
    Unlike animal sacrifices, Jesus’ cleansing work on the cross is unique in its effectiveness and permanence.

    1. Hebrews 10:1-2a For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?

    2. Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

    3. Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

  7. God’s Dwelling Place on Earth

    1. If God is omnipresent, how can He “reside” in a geographic place?

    2. Temple called “God’s house”

  8. Shekinah – the abiding presence of God.

    1. God has chosen to provide a manifestation of His localized presence at many points in history

    2. A theophany: a manifestation of God.

    3. The Shekinah in history:

      1. Illuminated the earth prior to the creation of the sun and moon (Gen. 1:3, 14).

      2. Walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:8).

      3. Ratified the Abrahamic covenant while Abraham slept (Gen. 15:17).

      4. Descended upon Mount Sinai at the giving of the law (Ex. 19:18; 24:15-16; 33:18-23).

      5. Filled the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. 40:34).

      6. Filled Solomon's Temple upon its dedication (1K. 8:10-11; 2Chr. 7:1).

      7. Left Solomon's Temple due to Israel's sin (Eze. 8:4-6; 9:3; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23). The Temple is left unprotected.

      8. Returned to the Second Temple (Herod’s Temple) in the form of the incarnation of Messiah Jesus (Mat. 12:6; 21:12; John 1:14; 2:15).

        1. John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt [eskēnōsen – to take up one’s residence] among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

        2. The Shekinah!

      9. Left the Second Temple desolate upon the departure of Jesus (Mat. 23:38; 24:2; Luke 13:35; 21:6). The Temple is left unprotected.

      10. Appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mat. 17:2; Mark 9:2; Luke 9:29).

      11. Appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3; 22:11; 26:13; 1Ti. 6:16).

      12. Will return to the Millennial Temple (Isa. 60:3; Eze. 43:2-4).

      13. Illuminates the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:23; 22:5).

    4. What Jesus is revealing in the Upper-Room Discourse in John 13-17 is the Promise of the Father which the disciples were to wait for in Jerusalem (Acts 1:5)

      1. The coming of the Shekinah in the form of the Holy Spirit to permanently indwell the Temple of the Believer.

  9. Where is God Dwelling Today? Where is the Shekinah?

    1. Today - no physical temple – as Jesus predicted

      1. John 4:19-24
        The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you [Jews] say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God [is] Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

      2. Matthew 24:1-2
        Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not [one] stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

    2. The coming of the Helper has everything to do with the dwelling place of God in this age between Herod’s Temple and the Tribulation Temple.

    3. The Temple of the Believer is the “house of God” during the age of the Church.

    4. Unlike other Temples: A Temple the Shekinah Will Never Leave

      1. When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, God created a Temple which His Presence will never leave – the Temple of the Believer.

        1. Not like Solomon’s Temple Babylonian destruction

        2. Not like Herod’s Temple Roman destruction

      2. God permanently dwells within sinful flesh unto the day of redemption.

      3. This only became possible by the effectual cleansing of Jesus work on the cross.

  10. The Security of God’s Divine Presence

    1. In John 13-17, Jesus is looking through the cross to the Day of Pentecost

    2. The Day of Pentecost brought an entirely new ministry of the Spirit.

    3. That Ministry, among other things, involved coming to the Temple of the Believer to abide until redemption.

    4. The Spirit is a seal, a guarantee – all believers experience this ministry today.

    5. His indwelling permanence is a source of enormous encouragement.

    6. Knowing this truth brings benefits and peace to the life and ministry of the believer:

Missionary John Paton never forgot his father’s deeply ingrained habits of daily devotions. Day after day, he would hear his father praying in the next room of the little cottage where he lived, and even as a boy of six, he noticed the bright countenance his father perpetually wore. He later said that while the outside world might not understand the light on his father’s face, “we children knew that it was a reflection of the Divine Presence in which his life was lived.”

Paton recalled, “Never in temple or cathedral, on mountain or in glen, can I hope to feel that the Lord God is more near, more visibly walking and talking with men, than under that humble cottage roof of thatch and oaken wattles. Though everything else in religion were by some unthinkable catastrophe to be swept out of memory, my soul would wander back to those early scenes, and would shut itself up once again in that sanctuary closet, and, hearing still the echoes of those cries to God, would hurl back all doubt with the victorious appeal: He walked with God; why may not I?”

Later John Paton experienced grave difficulties and breathtaking dangers as a missionary in the South Pacific. “Without the abiding consciousness of the presence and power of my Lord and Savior,” he wrote, “nothing in the world could have preserved me from losing my reason and perishing miserably. His words Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end became to me so real that it would not have startled me to behold Him, as Stephen did, gazing down upon the scene. It is the sober truth that I had my nearest and most intimate glimpses of the presence of my Lord in those dread moments when musket, club, or spear was being leveled at my life.*


1Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (Page 75). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

* A Frank Boreham Treasury (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), Ch. 16.

2Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (Page 377). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

© 2005 Tony Garland February 25, 2014 7

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