Lesson 45

The Temple

"The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Corinthians 3:17

King David greatly desired to build the temple, the house of the LORD, but God did not permit him to do so because of the wars and bloodshed that occurred during his reign (1 Chronicles 22:8). King David represented the church members while they are here on earth.

King Solomon, who represented the church members after they have been glorified, did build the temple of God. His peaceful rule foreshadowed the reign of Christ in the Millennial Age.

The tabernacle in the wilderness represented God’s temporary home with the Israelites. Later on the temple was built in its place and this let the people know God would always dwell with his people.

What is the difference between a tabernacle and a temple? A tabernacle is a temporary structure and a temple is a permanent structure.

The tabernacle represents the church during the Gospel Age, for this is their temporary home while they are being prepared and built up as a spiritual temple.

The temple represents the church in glory. Solomon’s temple took thousands of workers seven years to complete. It was erected without the sound of a hammer, ax, or any tool of iron (1 Kings 6:7). Just so, each member of the church is being fitted and polished for a place in the spiritual temple unbeknownst to those around them.

The temple was a beautiful place to pray and worship God away from the busy noises of the world. It was holy, set apart from the world for the worship of Jehovah. It was beautiful and glorious, and built to last forever.

But Solomon’s temple was destroyed in 606 B.C. when the Chaldeans conquered Judah. Much later, in Jesus’ day, King Herod built another temple of great splendor on the same site. It, too, now lies in ruins.

The followers of Christ Jesus are being shaped for a place in God’s spiritual temple. Just as David spent his lifetime fighting the enemies of God (for instance, the Philistines), so the saints spend their lives fighting sins in the world and in their lives. All of God’s faithful saints will be "living stones" in the temple of the LORD! (1 Peter 2:4, 5 Diaglott).

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