The End is not yet - Jubilee and the Building of the Philadelphia temple

Posted May 01, 2018 by Adrian Ebens in Third Angel's Message Hits: 710

These are the notes from our Tuesday Night Study.

Building the Temple

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Rev 3:11-13

The Temple a fitting emblem of the living Church.

Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. Garnished with precious stones, surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold, the temple structure, with its broidered hangings and rich furnishings, was a fit emblem of the living church of God on earth, which through the ages has been building in accordance with the divine pattern, with materials that have been likened to "gold, silver, precious stones," "polished after the similitude of a palace." 1 Corinthians 3:12; Psalm 144:12. Of this spiritual temple Christ is "the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." Ephesians 2:20, 21.  {PK 36.1}

And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2.  {EW 31.4} 

And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads. Revelation 14:1.  {EW 31.5} 

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him. And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5.

In his letter to the Corinthians, he writes, further: "If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it." Some ministers, through their labors, furnish the most precious material, gold, silver, and precious stones, which represent true moral worth in those gained to the cause by them. The false material, gilded to imitate the true,--that is, a carnal mind, and unsanctified character, glossed over with seeming righteousness,--may not be readily detected by mortal eye; but the day of God will test the material.  {LP 155.1} 

The precious stones represent the most perfect Christians, who have been refined and polished by the grace of God, and by affliction which they have endured with much prayer and patience. Their obedience and love resemble those of the great Pattern. Their lives are beautified and ennobled by self-sacrifice. They will endure the test of the burning day, for they are living stones. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out."  {LP 155.2}

Paul laid himself upon the true foundation, and brought every stone, whether large or small, polished or unhewn, common or precious, to be connected with the living foundation-stone, Christ Jesus. Thus slowly ascended the temple of the church of God. The apostle says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."  {LP 156.1} 

Paul had, in vision, a view of the city of God, with its foundations; and he represents the true Christian converts to be gold, silver, and precious stones. But the Jews made the work of Paul exceedingly difficult. They were continually claiming to be the only true children of Abraham, and therefore the only legitimate building-stones for God's house; and when the Gentiles accepted the gospel, and were brought to the true foundation, the Jews murmured about this material. Thus they hindered the work of God; nevertheless, the apostle unflinchingly continued his labors.  {LP 156.2} 

In order to gain the victory over every besetment of the enemy, we must lay hold on a power that is out of and beyond ourselves. We must maintain a constant, living connection with Christ, who has power to give victory to every soul that will maintain an attitude of faith and humility. . . . As those who hope to receive the overcomer's reward, we must press forward in the Christian warfare, though at every advance we meet with opposition. . . . As overcomers, we are to reign with Christ in the heavenly courts, and we are to overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God." SD 371

Rev 21:9-12  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.  (10)  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  (11)  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  (12)  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Eph 2:19-22  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (20)  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  (21)  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  (22)  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Christ is the uniting link in the golden chain which binds believers together in God. There must be no separating in this great testing time. The people of God are, "fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (verses 19-21). The children of God constitute one united whole in Christ, who presents His cross as the center of attraction. All who believe are one in Him.  {3SM 21.3}

Human feelings will lead men to take the work into their own hands, and the building thus becomes disproportionate. The Lord therefore employs a variety of gifts to make the building symmetrical. Not one feature of the truth is to be hidden or made of little account. God cannot be glorified unless the building, "fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." A great subject is here comprehended, and those who understand the truth for this time must take heed how they hear and how they build and educate others to practice.--Manuscript 109, 1899.  {3SM 21.4}

The Jewish temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains; and every stone was fitted for its place in the temple, hewed, polished, and tested before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation, and tongue, and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. These are not dead substances to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones, quarried out from the world by the truth; and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them, and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men; for its Builder and Maker is God. Let no one think that there need not be a stroke placed upon him. {CCh 287.5}

There is no person, no nation, that is perfect in every habit and thought. One must learn of another. Therefore God wants the different nationalities to mingle together, to be one in judgment, one in purpose. Then the union that there is in Christ will be exemplified. {CCh 288.1}

 

1 Cor 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:10-13.  {AA 596.2} 

The apostles built upon a sure foundation, even the Rock of Ages. To this foundation they brought the stones that they quarried from the world. Not without hindrance did the builders labor. Their work was made exceedingly difficult by the opposition of the enemies of Christ. They had to contend against the bigotry, prejudice, and hatred of those who were building upon a false foundation. Many [597] who wrought as builders of the church could be likened to the builders of the wall in Nehemiah's day, of whom it is written: "They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, everyone with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon." Nehemiah 4:17.  {AA 596.3} 

Human power did not establish the work of God, neither can human power destroy it. To those who carry forward His work in face of difficulty and opposition, God will give the constant guidance and guardianship of His holy angels. His work on earth will never cease. The building of His spiritual temple will be carried forward until it shall stand complete, and the headstone shall be brought forth with shoutings: "Grace, grace unto it."  {AG 128.2} 

The care shown in the building of the temple is a lesson to us regarding the care that we are to show in our character building. No cheap material was to be used. No haphazard work was to be done in matching the different parts. Piece must fit piece perfectly. Just as God's temple was, so must His church be. Into their character building His people are to bring no worthless timbers, no careless, indifferent work.  {OHC 165.3} 

Now we are in the workshop of God, and the process is going on in these hours of probation to fit us for the glorious temple. We cannot now be indifferent, and negligent, and careless, and refuse to depart from sin, . . . and expect to become pure and holy and fashioned in character after the similitude of a palace. . . . Now is the day of preparation; now is the time when we can have our defects removed.  {OHC 165.4} 

A stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones, but living stones, stones that catch the bright beams from the Chief Cornerstone, even the Sun of Righteousness.  {OHC 165.5} 

We are to occupy some place in the Lord's spiritual temple, and the important question is not as to whether you are a large or a small stone, but whether you have submitted yourself to God that He may polish you and make you emit light for His glory. If we are in the Lord's temple we must emit light. Are we permitting the heavenly Builder to hew and square and polish us? Have we faith to rest in Him?  {TMK 150.4} 

The church of Christ is spoken of as a holy temple. Says the apostle: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." All the followers of Christ are represented as stones in the temple of God. Every stone, large or small, must be a living stone, emitting light and fitting into the place assigned it in the building of God. How thankful we should be that a way has been opened whereby we may each have a place in the spiritual temple! Will you, my brethren and sisters, think of these things, study them, talk of them? Just in proportion as we appreciate these things shall we become strong in the service of God, and so be enabled to comply with his requirements, and be doers of the words of Christ.  {RH, July 27, 1911 par. 7} 

 

Temple built according to the Divine pattern

Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. Garnished with precious stones, surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold, the temple structure, with its broidered hangings and rich furnishings, was a fit emblem of the living church of God on earth, which through the ages has been building in accordance with the divine pattern, with materials that have been likened to "gold, silver, precious stones," "polished after the similitude of a palace." 1 Corinthians 3:12; Psalm 144:12. Of this spiritual temple Christ is "the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." Ephesians 2:20, 21.  {PK 36.1}

Again and again I have been shown that the people of God in these last days could not be safe in trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. The mighty cleaver of truth has taken them out of the world as rough stones that are to be hewed and squared and polished for the heavenly building. They must be hewed by the prophets with reproof, warning, admonition, and advice, that they may be fashioned after the divine Pattern; this is the specified work of the Comforter, to transform heart and character, that men may keep the way of the Lord.  {1888 953.2} 

 

Nehemiah’s Experience Repeated in our time

The experience of Nehemiah is repeated in the history of God's people in this time. ST Dec 13, 1883

Spiritual Temple represents work of God’s servants till end of time.

The figure which Paul uses of the temple erected on the foundation stone is to represent the work of God's servants to the end of time. LP 159

Temple dedicated at feast of Tabernacles

The time chosen for the dedication was a most favorable one--the seventh month, when the people from every part of the kingdom were accustomed to assemble at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast was preeminently an occasion of rejoicing. The labors of the harvest being ended and the toils of the new year not yet begun, the people were free from care and could give themselves up to the sacred, joyous influences of the hour. {PK 37.3} 

Error hinders the building of the Temple

Christ himself, the foundation and the crowning glory of God's temple, became "a rock of offense to them that stumble at the word." Yet that chief foundation stone, "disallowed indeed of men," was "chosen of God and precious." Though rejected by the Jewish builders, it became the head of the corner. Christ was put to death; but the work of building did not cease. He was honored in Heaven and by the faithful on earth as the true foundation.  {LP 158.2} 

The servants of Christ have ever been greatly hindered in their labors by the errors which have from time to time corrupted the church. Carnal minds wrest the word of God to make it pander [159] to their follies and superstitions. That unerring word, the rule by which every stone brought to the foundation must be tested, has been virtually set aside by many who appeared to be zealous builders on the temple of Christ's church. Thus wood, hay, and stubble have been laid upon the foundation stone by heedless workmen as precious acquisitions.  {LP 158.3}