I Corinthians 3:16-17: “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.” (KJV)
I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.” (ASV)
II Corinthians 6:16-18; “And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (ASV)
When one considers these scriptures they must consider it in the context of the following scriptures about the body of Messiah:
I Corinthians 12:12-14 and 20; “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many....But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (KJV)
I Corinthians 12:25-28 “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (KJV)
We often hear it preached or taught that we, as individuals, are spiritual temples to God. So, God has all these little spiritual temples walking around on the earth. While the concept is “interesting”, I find it un-Biblical.
Let me explain: It isn't in the divine plan of Yah to build a bunch of individual little temples, but it is in His plan to build ONE spiritual temple composed of individual “living stones.”
Just as the Body of Messiah is one, made up of individual members, likewise this spiritual temple that He is building, is made up of individual living stones. Those living stones, at the restoration of all things, will be fully fitted together and will complete the final spiritual temple for YHVH to dwell in.
We are told countless times throughout scripture that God does not desire to dwell in a physical temple made with hands.
Isaiah 66:1-3; “Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest? For all these things hath my hand made, and so all these things came to be, saith Jehovah: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.He that killeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as he that breaketh a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as he that offereth swine's blood; he that burneth frankincense, as he that blesseth an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations:” (ASV)
This scripture is quoted twice in the book of Acts:
Acts 7:48-51; “Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands; as saith the prophet, The heaven is my throne, And the earth the footstool of my feet: What manner of house will ye build me? saith the Lord: Or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
Acts 17:24-31; “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (KJV)
Scripture also records that God never desired sacrifices and offerings of animals:
Psalms 40:6-8; “Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast thou opened: Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the roll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart.”
The writer of the book of Hebrews elaborates on this passage from Psalms:
Hebrews 10:5-10; “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I am come (In the roll of the book it is written of me) To do thy will, O God. Saying above, Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein (the which are offered according to the law), then hath he said, Lo, I am come to do thy will. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
If God didn't originally desire to dwell in a temple made with hands and to require sacrifices and offerings of animals, then why did He give commands for this to happen? SIN ! All of this was required because of the SIN of human beings! It all started in the b'resheet; IN THE BEGINNING! B'resheet is the Hebrew word for the book of the Bible that we call “Genesis”. It means “in the beginning”.
The scriptures above, as well as all of the prophets and writings, Neviim and Ketuvim, tell of the coming one, the Anointed One, who will reverse the curse of the fall in the Garden of Eden. This Anointed One will restore all things to the way that they were in the Garden of Eden. Notice that in the Garden of Eden there was no physical temple, nor were sacrifices of animals required.
So, back to this temple thing! We are not individual temples walking around but we are individual living stones that are being built together to form a spiritual temple that YHVH Almighty will dwell in at the restoration of all things.
In I Peter 2:4-9 we read about this spiritual temple made without human hands.
“unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame. For you therefore that believe is the preciousness: but for such as disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner; and, A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; for they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (ASV)
And again we read in Ephesians 2:19-22; “That is why you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Messiah Jesus himself being the cornerstone. In union with him the whole building is joined together and rises into a holy sanctuary for the Lord. You, too, are being built in him, along with the others, into a place for God's Spirit to dwell.” (ISV)
How is this spiritual temple being built by YHVH? It is being built by His Anointed One, Yeshua the Messiah. Yeshua is the cornerstone of this spiritual building. The cornerstone is the first stone placed in the construction phase of a building. Then the scriptures state that the foundation is being built upon the prophets and apostles. After this, we as individuals are the living stones which are then laid upon the foundation and the building begins to take shape. As these living stones we each have a different job to do, just like the individual members of the body of Messiah, and we each represent a living sacrifice before God, holy and acceptable to Him. This spiritual building will be free from sin.
The last stone to be placed in this building will complete the process of construction. What is this last stone that will be placed? Zechariah 4:7-9 gives us the answer.
“Who are you, great mountain? You will become a plain in Zerubbabel's presence, and he will position the capstone, exulting over it, "How beautiful! How beautiful!"'" Then this message from the LORD came to me again: "Zerubbabel's hands have laid the foundation of this Temple, and his hands will finish it, so that you will know that the LORD of the Heavenly Armies has sent me to all of you.”
Like King David, Zerubbabel is the true heir to the throne. He is from the lineage of David and thus Yeshua. As many of the prophecies about David point to Yeshua, likewise this is so concerning Zerubbabel.
So, what is the capstone? It is the last stone that is placed in a building. Yeshua will lay this stone, not only in the re-built physical temple during His millennial reign but also in the spiritual temple made up of the Sons of God.
The book of Revelation gives us the final glimpse into this completed spiritual temple.
Revelation 21: 3-5; “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (KJV)
Revelation 21:22; “I saw no temple in it, because the Lord God Almighty and the lamb are its temple.” (ISV)
In the restoration of all things, Yahweh as ONE (echad) will once again dwell in a spiritual temple amongst His HOLY children, HIS family, His crown of creation. Just as He dwelt in the Garden of Eden before the Fall.
In Revelation 21:12 we read about the high wall and the 12 gates by which one enters the city; each gate bearing the name of one of the sons of Jacob. In verse 14 we are told that the wall had 12 foundations; each bearing the name of one of the 12 apostles of Yeshua. In verse 19 we are told about the precious stones that adorn the 12 foundations of the walls. Interestingly, these stones are of the same type and order as the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest and they are identical to the encampment around the wilderness tabernacle. The New Jerusalem lies within these walls and like the encampment in the wilderness, YHVH will dwell in the middle, within the city. This interior section would also represent the tribe of Levi because they had their portion with the LORD. The structure of the New Jerusalem is organized in a manner identical to the structure of ancient Israel. It is into this organization that all children of YHVH will be arranged and ordered. If you do not bear the name of a “son” of Israel, then I would have to ask “by which gate do you plan to enter”? Whether a blood DNA descendant of Jacob, or grafted into the cultivated Olive tree like Ruth, ALL are Israel. Israel has not been replaced by the “church”. The word “church” actually means “assembly”. Anyone desiring to be “assembled” by YHVH, will be “assembled" as Israel.
Interestingly, in one of the Qumran scrolls there is a reference to God's true dwelling place and it speaks of God building a "temple of men" that cannot be destroyed or defiled by foreigners. (1)
In the restoration of all things, we as living stones will now corporately have YHVH dwelling amongst and within us.