The Cleansing of the Temple
Preached by:  Carolyn Sissom
July 20, 2008
Here it is the Sunday before our long anticipated “Tent of Meeting”, and the Lord spoke to be early this week to preach on “Temple Prostitutes”.  The Lord enlarged my revelation of temple prostitution in 2001.  The church here in Texas was in its first year.  A minister in a large local church decided he would like to rent this facility to set up a coffee house during the month of December.  If this venture would prove successful, then he and his partner, another minister, would rent the church full time for the business. 
When the proposal was presented to me that it would be a place for the congregation of this denomination to gather for coffee and desert on Sunday evenings during December.  I was gracious and agreed to co-rental during the month of December. At the suggestion of the owner, we talked and agreed on the telephone.  He immediately called the owner and told her the only way he would agree to rent the property was to boot me out.  Being a fair and square Texas Lady, she told him, “no”.
The whole scenario from start to finish played itself out over a period of a couple of weeks before the owner locked  the cattle gate.  During my prayer time, the Lord spoke to me.  He said, “Prostitution of the temple.”  
The light bulb of revelation came on.  The motive of these ministers was to divert the congregation from the church to the coffee house for monetary gain.  They had justified their motives in that the tithe of the profits would go to missions.
  ‘Markets are too often dens of thieves, so many are the  corrupt and deceitful  practices in buying and selling; but markets in the temple are certainly so, for they rob God of his honor, the worst of thieves.” (Matthew Henry)
11 Kings 23 gives us an account of Temple Prostitutes and the cleansing of the Temple by Josiah, one of the six good kings of Israel.  Josiah gives us a picture of a Godly Pastor.  This is a picture of Jesus Christ when he cleansed the Temple of the money changers in Jerusalem.
Verses 4-7: “ And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order; and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Ba’al, and for the grove, and for the host of heaven (astrology and worship of stars…(V.5) And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah; and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense to Ba’al to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven…and he brought out the grove from the house of the Lord,…(V. 7) And he broke down the house of the sodomites that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.  And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Beer to Beersheba.”
“The sin God condemned more than any other sexual sin was practiced here by the temple.  The sodomites were male prostitutes in connection with idolatry.  Besides these they had many women prostitutes consecrated to idols to attract men.  These women were prostitutes in the worship of the Asherah, and one of their duties was the weaving of coverings for the Asherah-coverings which seem to have been in various colors. 
Josiah removed the Levitical priests who had officiated at the various high places, taking them from the scenes of their idolatries and bringing them to Jerusalem where their conduct could be watched.
He broke down all high places in Jerusalem; and the priests whom he brought from all parts of the kingdom, were disqualified from coming to Jehovah’s altar.  Yet they ate of the unleavened bread of their brethren and were supported from temple money that came in. “(Dakes Annotated Reference Bible)
(Verse 10) “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.”
I believe Topheth is a demon presently attacking our children.  “This name is derived from those who played drums because of the cries of the children being burned in the fire of Molech.  The drums and noisy worship would drown out such cries so the worship could be tolerated.  Or the word is derived from taph, to burn.  Topheth was a spot in the valley of the son of Hinnom where continual fires were kept to burn the refuse of Jerusalem and where such idolatry was carried on.  This place had been given to the priests of Molech by kings of Judah – Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon; and the idolatrous worship had flourished here.” (Dakes)
I believe we have opened the door for demon of Topheth to enter our nation through the prostitution of our temples.  We must tear down all of the altars of Baal and ordained priests who officiate on the Mount of Corruption before we will rid this nation of Topheth and Molech.
The Pastors of the Congregations are the ones who are anointed to raise this standard and make this stand for righteousness.  Many pastors have turned their churches in to market places selling health food and other merchandise.  Our conferences in the “high places” are surrounded with vendors selling their merchandise.  The Temple of the Lord is in his saints.  His Presence is where we gather in His name and worship Him.  Dear Saints of God, your conferences and churches of the 21st century have become “a house of merchandise”. 
I do not feel this applies to books written to testify of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We can say we are not the vendors.  There would be no vendors if there were no buyers.  It is written.  
(Verse 11) “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.”
The custom of dedicating a chariot and horses to the sun was a Persian practice.  When he made sacrifices, the king of Persia offered a white horse to the sun; they mounted their horses early in the morning and rode toward the rising orb of the sun as if to salute it, then offered the horses in sacrifice. (Counterfeit Elijah ministry)
The wicked Manasseh heard of this custom and imitated it to some extent.
.(Verse 13) And the high places that were before Jerusalem which were on the right hand of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.  And he broke in pieces the images, and cut down the groves and filled their places with the bones of men.”
This Mount of Corruption is the Mount of Olives. In the Book of Zechariah, the Mount of Olives is identified as the place from which God will begin to redeem the dead at the end of days.  For this reason, Jews have always sought to be buried on the mountain.  From Biblical times to the present day the mountain has been used as a cemetery for the Jews of Jerusalem.
It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem.  Jesus spent a good deal of time on the mount.  He returned there on the night of his betrayal.  This mount or rather mountain range has four summits or peaks. 
(1)   The “Galilee” peak, so called from a tradition that the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples.
(2)   The “Mount of Ascension,”
(3)   The “Prophets” tombs
(4)   The “Mount of Corruption” (prostitution of men and women for monetary gain).
(V. 16) “And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchers that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchers, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who prophesied these words. (1 Kings 13:1-3) then he said, what title is that I see? And the men of the city told him, it is the sepulcher of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.  And he said, let him alone; let no man move his bones.  So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.”
(24) “Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that wee spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.”
Josiah, son of Amon, reigned in Jerusalem for 31 years.  Coming to the throne at the age of 8, he, like Hezekiah, brought great reformation!  He fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Kings 13:2 and purged Jerusalem of idolatry.  The Word of God was discovered in the temple.  Josiah read the word, he repented, rent his garments and called an assembly of all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.  (V.3) “ And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and with all their soul.  And a great revival resulted. 
(V. 21) and the King commanded all the people saying, Keep the Passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the Book of this Covenant.”
The Passover was extraordinary.  It even exceeded the Passover of Hezekiah.  “Surely there was not held such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah.”
There is another Passover in John 2:13:  It is the second miracle of the ministry of Jesus Christ.  I call it a miracle because He performed this act as the Son of God.
“And the Jews’ Passover was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and purged out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables:  And said to them that sold doves, Take those things from here; make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise.”
This is again recorded in Matthew 21.  I am inclined to think, he did this twice.  In Matthew, it is at the same time as His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
21:12-13:  “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all of them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer:  but you have made it a den of thieves.”
“Merchandise should not be in the temple.  It was sacrilege; it was robbing God.  It was to debase that which was solemn and awful, and to make it mean.  It was to make the business of religion subservient to a secular interest.  Those who make God’s house a house of merchandise whose minds are filled with cares about the worldly business when they are attending on religious exercises, as those who perform divine offices for filthy lucre.”  (M.H.)
The Lord has called us to have Faith to believe Him for all of our provision.  He is the Provider.  We will not have to merchandise the gospel for our daily bread.
The scriptures tell us that Manasseh and Solomon allowed the prostitution of the temple.  Legend has it that Manasseh had Isaiah killed.  After the people chose a King over a Judge, the Lord sent prophets to speak to those Kings.  Most of them refused to listen.  Josiah’s prophets were Nahum Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah and Hilkiah. 
11 Kings 23:25:  “and like to him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.”
(26) Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of His great wrath, wherewith His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked Him with.
Jeremiah 18: 7-8: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.”
This is the promise of the Lord to all nations.  It seems that even though Josiah turned to the Lord with his whole heart, the people of the nation did not or the Lord would have not brought Israel into judgment.
I may lose some of my friends in the ministry over this posting.  If you disagree with me, I still love you.  I would rather have you disfellowship me than end up like the soulish prophet of 1 Kings 13:1-10.  He died because he disobeyed the Lord.  This is “a Man of God out of Judah” who prophesied that Josiah would be born by name and that he would burn men’s bones on the altar.  The Old prophet rode and found the man of God sitting under the oak.  And said to him, “Come home with me”.  I am a prophet also as you are, and an angel spoke unto me… But he lied to him.
While supping, the real Word came forth, “your corpse shall not come unto the sepulcher of your fathers (22) the donkey (untamed nature) carried him to his judgment.  A lion met him and slew him.   He died and was buried on the Mount of Corruption.
It is God and not Man who determines the appointment of ministry.
Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
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