Apostasy Watch
12-3-11 The Falling Away part 3

The True Temple of God


2Thessalonians 2:1-4
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

In the first part of our study we demonstrated that the term falling away refers to an apostasy or a latter day defection from the true gospel. The apostasy is the first condition that must be met prior to the Lords return. In part two we demonstrated that second condition, the revealing or unveiling of the man of sin, is being restrained until the appointed time.

In verse 4 Paul gives us clues as to the identity of the man of sin. He is the one who exalts himself above God and sits in the temple exhibiting himself as God. Traditional eschatology assumes this to be a rebuilt temple in modern Jerusalem. Could that be an incorrect understanding of Paul’s meaning? If not a physical temple in Jerusalem, to what temple could Paul be referring?

1Cor 3:16
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The word temple here is the Greek word naos. This word refers not to the entire temple complex (the heiron) but the innermost portion of the temple consisting of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. In the physical temple, only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place and only the High Priest himself could enter the Holy of Holies and that only once per year. The Holy of Holies was considered the very dwelling place of God.

This is the same word used by Jesus when he referred to the temple of His body.

John 2:19 & 21
Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple (naos), and in three days I will raise it up."……..  But he spake of the temple of his body.

It is also the temple spoken of by Stephen during his blasphemy trial

Acts 7:48-50
Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples (naos) made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven [is] my throne, and earth [is] my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what [is] the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

In the new covenant, the dwelling place of God has changed. God no longer dwells in a stone temple made by men. Now He dwells within his people. The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies is within you. So, the temple in which God currently resides is you. 

You are that dwelling place not made with hands

Heb 9:11
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;

You are that spiritual house made of living stones

1Peter 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Could it be that the temple in which the son of perdition seeks to replace God is the temple within you? Remember, antichrist means in place of Christ. The antichrist cannot replace God in a stone temple in Jerusalem for the simple reason that God no longer dwells in that temple. The only place in which antichrist can receive worship as God is in the temple of His body here on the earth.

John 4:19-24
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

The Jews and the Samaritans disagreed on the proper place for the worship of God. The Jews worshipped at the temple in Jerusalem. The Samaritans thought it proper to worship on Mt. Gerizim which was the place they believed Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

While Jesus confirmed that the Jews were correct, he also explained a deeper truth. The Father desires we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The exact place of worship is no longer confined to a mountain or a stone temple in Jerusalem.

..........the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father…………….. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

Matt 23:37-38
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Your house is left desolate, bereft, uninhabited, deserted, solitary, lonely. The place where God dwelt has been abandoned. He dwells there no more. When Jesus was crucified the veil of the temple was ripped from top to bottom.

Matt 27:50-51
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 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;

The veil of the temple was a thick curtain which separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy place. The tearing of the veil signified that the way to God was now opened to all by way of the blood of Christ. No longer would God dwell behind a veil. No longer would He be accessible only to the High Priest once a year. Jesus is now our High Priest and by way of His flesh we enter the Holy of Holies

Heb 9:11
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;

Heb 10:19-29
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;

For many years, the majority of the church world has been taught that at some future time, the Jews of modern Israel will rebuild the temple and resume animal sacrifice. After some period of time, an evil world ruler will walk into that temple, put an end to animal sacrifice and declare himself to be God.

Dan 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Dan 12:11
And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Could it be that we have totally misunderstood the place in which anti-christ seeks to sit and receive worship? How can the curtailment of animal sacrifice cause a stone temple to become desolate when God no longer dwells in temples made with hands? Has God changed His mind? Will he begin again to accept the blood of bulls and goats as a sacrifice for sin?

Heb 9:12-14
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]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The son of perdition will surely come on the world scene at some point in the future. He will not walk into a stone temple and declare himself to be God. Instead he will seek to enter your tabernacle. He will seek to sit in your temple (naos). He will attempt to take the seat upon which Christ alone should dwell in your heart. He will seek to stop your daily sacrifice which is the way of the cross.

Do not be deceived by the false teachers of our modern religious system. The mystery of iniquity, a secret working of lawlessness is already at work in that system to cause many to stumble.

1John 2:18
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Here John declares that the anti-christ spirit arose from within the church, among Gods people.

Mat 24:24
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Jesus says that even unto the end of the great tribulation false Christs (anti-christs) will seek to deceive the elect. If the anti-christ spirit arose from within the church and seeks to deceive the elect of God, why do you assume that the ultimate Anti-Christ will only seek to deceive the world?

The anti-Christ will be a man but the place of worship he seeks will be within you. The covenant he will offer will be a promise of life without the daily sacrifice of self. Many today who walk with us in the kingdom of God will be deceived. Having been prepared for years by false teachers they will not recognize this man when he appears. He will not be what they have been taught to expect. Because they refuse the truth, God will send strong delusion to harden them in their deception. At some point it will be too late. I urge you to examine these matters today for yourself. Set aside your man made traditions and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth about these things. Turn from the lies and be saved from the wrath to come.

2Thess 2:9-12
Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Falling Away part 1

The Falling Away part 2

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