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Monday, October 06, 2014

The Removal of Idols From the Temple

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 
So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:22-24

When Adam & Eve were driven from the Garden, it was not just, as God stated, 'lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever', although it was most definitely that; it was because, as He also said, 'the man has become like one of Us'. Like the serpent had promised, Adam & Eve had become 'like God', gods to themselves, knowing ( judging ) for themselves what was good ( the forbidden fruit ) and what was evil ( obeying God )! In the Temple, which the Garden of Eden symbolized, there was no room for a multiplicity of Gods. In fact, there was only One God ( Deuteronomy 6:4 & 5 )!

The many captivities and resulting exiles of Israel that we see chronicled throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, with their removal, for a time, from the Land of Promise, which also symbolized the Temple of Yahweh, were also significant of this removal of idols from His Temple! The Land & the Promises had themselves become idols, and thus had to be removed from the Temple of Yahweh!

In today's day & age, we who have been revealed as the true Temple of our Heavenly Father, when we experience hardships & loss in our lives, often fail to realize that the reason for this is most often because we ourselves have set up idols in our own hearts, idols which must be removed!

As followers of Jesus Christ & the True Temple of Yahweh, we still tend to set up idols in our hearts! We place too much importance on certain things, whether it be a nicer vehicle, bigger house, or more money & riches! These things may have their place, and there is nothing wrong with having any of these things, in and of themselves, but when we place overmuch importance on these things, as we tend to do, being human, they have become Idols in the Temple, and must be removed, so that in this
Temple, their is One God who is worshiped & adored, and none other besides Him!

Every time that Israel was ransomed from the Captivity & Exile, they seemed, for awhile, to return to the worship of the One True God with all their heart, mind & strength, but as time passed, they began to rebuild these idols once more, and finally, in AD70, when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem & the Temple, God removed the last remaining idol from His Temple!

This may seem to contradict what was previously stated, but realizing the corporate nature of the Temple of God, the individuality of stones within that Temple is not precluded! This helps us to see that the Temple of God, as Jesus Himself said ( John 2:19 ), being His Body, and made up of individual stones, or people, is not simply constructed as of many different bodies, as we are, but is of a corporate nature, as that of our Lord Himself!

Many today suppose that, as the descendants of Adam & Eve, we too, are thus subject to removal from the Presence of God in His Holy Temple! We can be assured, though, that as descendants of & heirs with the last Adam, rather than the first, we are partakes, through His Body, of the Divine Nature, and thus, that with this Temple are no idols, but only the One True God! As individuals, we need to take great care against the setting up of idols within our own hearts ( lives ), but as the Body of Christ, as the apostle Paul wrote, 'for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live'!

Charles Haddon Shank

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