NOVEMBER 16, 2023 ~ THEMATIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE
NOVEMBER 16 READING…EZEKIEL 41-42 & ACTS 5
You can have all the décor and building right, and there still be no real worship of God taking place. And, you can have no trappings and building at all, and have genuine God-honoring worship occurring. Ezekiel continues to describe the Temple that would be built in Jerusalem. Earlier in this book we see the Shekinah of God leave the Temple…there is a question of when the glory of God will return to the Temple as stated in chapter 43. The Temple was rebuilt, and later remodeled and made into a spectacular building by Herod. The second Temple was the one that was there in the time of Jesus…and was destroyed by Rome in 70AD. It is clear as you read what was going on in this Temple that there was no presence of the Spirit of God. The Temple, the priestly system, and the religious leadership of Israel were all corrupt. Despite having a beautiful building, with all the trappings of being godly, they were not close to God. How do I know? When they looked into the face of the Son of God…God in the flesh…they did not recognize Him. If there was anyone that should have recognized and welcomed Jesus, it should have been the high-priest who supposedly went into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies on behalf of the people…but he didn’t even know the Lord when he stood before Him. In Acts, we see the church growing, and empowered by the Holy Spirit and they had no buildings or religious trappings. They knew nothing better than to trust in the power and presence of God in their lives. This doesn’t mean that they did not have troubles, but when corruption tried to find its way into the church, it was dealt with. Ananias and Sapphira paid an immediate and high cost for lying to the Holy Spirit. Though this seems harsh, it must be noted that God has never allowed either prophets or people to speak in His Name, and lie. Another result of the Lord’s punishment was to bring fear and obedience in the lives of those in the church, so they continued in obedience and see the power of God. We need to be very careful to speak only what the Word of the Lord speaks…we need to walk in obedience…and I believe we will continue to see the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our churches.
Please share your thoughts.
TOMORROW’S READING…EZEKIEL 43-44 & ACTS 6