I love studying the Jerusalem Temples, both past and future Millennial. There is so much that we can learn from them and apply in our daily lives about who G-d is, who we are in Him, how He sees us, and how to relate to Him. Everything about the tabernacle and temples so powerfully reveal who G-d is, and challenge or may I say “redefine” how our culture has defined Him. After G-d made a covenant with the Israelites at Mt Sinai, He made a way for sinful, imperfect, mortal man to be in the manifest presence of a perfect, holy G-d without literally burning up on the spot! I love the fact that He dictated every last detail. The layout of the temples and its services and laws did not come from man, they all came from G-d. This level of detail reflects the extreme care that G-d has for every detail of our lives, and the intensity of His desire for intimacy with us!
Unfortunately, in my opinion, we have lost the view of G-d as a consuming fire in all of His holiness and splendor, high and lifted up and seated on the throne. We have lost it as a culture, as a body of believers, and as individuals.
First, let’s look at our culture. It’s very obvious that our modern culture is unashamedly anti-G-d, anti-bible, and it blatantly promotes and advertises anti-G-d messages and behavior in the areas of sex, finances, character, priorities, marriage, sexual identity, sanctity of life, family values, self-worth, self-respect, fashion, music, language, and the list goes on. Our culture has no fear or respect for a holy G-d, and seems to even enjoy shaking its fist at G-d, saying “We don’t care who you are or what you say, we will do what is right in our own eyes and whatever feels good to us!”
Secondly, we as a body of believers oftentimes reduce G-d from how He is revealed through the temples in all of His holiness and perfection to a mere “BFF” (best friend forever) or a “personal shopper” who exists solely to serve us. We focus on “What can He do for me?” instead of falling on our faces in worship as the prophets did (e.g., Ezekiel, Daniel, John) when they saw Him in all of His holiness.
When we study the temple with its requirements for the priests and laws of ritual purification for the people, we are reminded of what an awesome privilege it is to be able to enter into His presence, into the Holy of Holies at any time. We take this for granted as believers and often just “barge into His presence” with our requests and demands.
Lastly, because we have lost sight of G-d’s holiness as revealed through the temples, we have lost sight of who we are as individuals, and have allowed our culture, others, and the lies of the enemy to define us. In order to have an accurate view of ourselves, we must first have an accurate view of G-d and then how He sees us. When we focus first on how holy He is, and how nothing related to death could come near His presence in the temple – yet He took on death for us in the person of Yeshua – then we can develop an accurate view of ourselves. We see the incredible value and worth that we have in His eyes and how deeply we are loved and accepted. We can then trust Him and rest in His presence, free from striving, fear, doubt, insecurity, self-condemnation and rejection.
I strongly encourage you to study the design, services, sacrifices, ritual purity laws, and practices of the priests detailed in Leviticus and Exodus. Allow them to “redefine” or “rightly define” your view of G-d and yourself. Remember, it’s only when you have an accurate picture of G-d can you fully appreciate what Yeshua did for you, how He sees you, and who you are in Him. Study the future Millennial Temple in Ezekiel 40-48. Allow the detail of the temple to encourage you that G-d cares about every detail of your life too! Get excited about your future ruling and reigning with Yeshua. Prepare and practice for your future role by ruling and reigning now over your own thoughts, emotions, words, and actions. Be determined to deal with anything that blocks your intimacy with G-d. This intimacy is the only thing that can never be taken away from you regardless of what others do, what changes in your circumstances, or what the nations of the world do. Get a glimpse of heaven from the Millennial Temple that will give you a focus and a hope through the uncertain days ahead. Then you will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yield its fruit in its season and whose leaves do not wither, prospering (making progress) in whatever you do.