If We are the “Temple”…
Since becoming a follower of Yeshua and keeping the commandments of YHWH Elohim, I have faced the argument from the modern church establishment that: 1) Yeshua did away with the ‘law’ (Romans 10:4) and 2) Because the Temple was/is destroyed, ‘We are the Temple of God’ (1 Cor 3:16) so we don’t have to keep the law (God’s Law). Both of these scriptures have been taken out of context and this paper will not address argument #1 as I have other teachings showing the error and misunderstanding which you can find on our website, returnoftheremnant.com
Let us address argument #2: Because the Temple was destroyed, or- more importantly, because Jesus/Yeshua died for my sins, was resurrected and that he said he would destroy the Temple and build it in three days (Mat 26:61) and that the new temple is within us. This line of thought comes from the Apostle Paul:
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Setting aside the fact that Ezekiel Ch. 40-47 describes the Millennial Temple in which offerings will take place after Yeshua returns and reigns as King over the Earth, what does your ‘Temple’ look like?
The Apostle Peter tells us: 1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Peter understood the Law (Torah) of Moshe where Elohim tells his people:
Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
In the earthly Temple, there was the outer courtyard. Within that area was another area called the ‘holy place’, and within the holy place was another area separated by a veil called the ‘most holy place’ where only the High Priest could go only once a year on Yom Kippur to make atonement. Yeshua is our High Priest of the Melchizedek priesthood who has access to the most holy place in the Heavenly Temple. Despite the lyrics of a popular song “…I enter the holy of holies, I enter by the blood of the lamb…” This is totally inaccurate (see Lev 16, Heb 9) as the Apostle Paul tells us:
1Ti 2:5 For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua)…
Not just anyone was allowed into the Holy of Holies, it could only be the High Priest and now we have Yeshua as our High Priest. So back to “If we are the Temple”. If we look at the scriptures, what was allowed to be sacrificed in the Temple? Sheep, Goats, Cattle: all Biblically clean animals…along with pigeons, turtledoves: both clean birds. Animals such as pigs, rabbits, camels, vultures, squirrel, raccoon, lobster, shrimp, insects, salamanders, snakes, etc. were NOT sacrificed in the Temple. Why? Elohim instructs us that they are an abomination (Leviticus 11). Even further, YHWH Elohim tells us:
Lev 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
Lev 11:7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:44 For I am YHWH your Elohim: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So I ask: If you are the Temple of Elohim, are you keeping your Temple Holy? Are you putting within your temple what is clean and acceptable in accordance with what YHWH instructs us? Let’s look at the second half of the verse about being the temple of Elohim.
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of Elohim, him shall Elohim destroy; for the temple of Elohim is holy, which temple ye are.
Defiling the temple of Elohim means walking contrary to the commandments and instructions of our Elohim. Here are a few examples of defiling of your Temple:
Eating unclean animals, thinking that all animals are ok to eat (citing Mar 7:19, which more than likely was later added as Messiah did not come to change Torah Mat 5:17)
Not setting apart (keep holy) the Sabbath day (Ex 20:8), but another day (Sunday)
Not observing the Feast days of YHWH (Lev 23), but mixing or observing pagan holidays
Not defiling oneself with abominations of Lev 18.
Adding to or diminishing from the instructions of YHWH (Deu 4:2)
This is not an exhaustive list, but only to make a point of the importance in following YHWH’s instructions and not what ‘feels good in my heart’.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I could go in to detail concerning the council of Jerusalem and the ruling that James gave concerning new believers of the Gentiles (Acts 15); but in summary, everything that James said concerning what the Gentile believers should do is all based on following the instructions of YHWH Elohim which is TORAH. I write this not to ‘puff up’ those who are keeping the commandments of YHWH and believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and follow him, rather, this is in response to those who think their Temples are clean when they need to be re-examined by following the instructions of YHWH Elohim and what His HOLY Temple looks like.
I’ll end with a few Extra verses:
1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
2Co 6:16-17 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…
1Co 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
I pray all of you are preparing for the next Shmittah. Starting Aviv 1, 2023
Shalom, Chad Wilhelms