Sunday, February 26, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Matthew 12:6: I say unto you, that in this place is one greater than the temple.


In our bible study of Mark, Jesus has begun to teach the disciples that He is the promised Messiah, the Son of God.  Last week we studied the visitation of Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. 


The disciples still have failed to recognize Jesus as the Christ.  Even with the feeding of the 5,000, 4,000, multiple healings, deliverances and Jesus walking on water, all of which are fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament of the Christ.  So now, in perfect keeping with the sudden dramatic changes of an older history of the Covenant of the Law and the birth of the New Covenant; like some blazing meteor, the Prophet of Fire and the great Law-Giver appear in transfigured glory by the side of the “Living Jehovah,” before whom they stood.   But it was now Jehovah-Jesus ---“God manifest in the flesh!” (1 Timothy 3;16).


 A message comes to the Peter, James and John from the midst of the excellent glory --- This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”   God the Father attests and installs the Son as sovereign of the kingdom.  He consecrates Him as Prophet, Priest and King forevermore.


This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him. This is emblematic that the former dispensations were now done away. Moses and Elijah regarded in Judaism with religious awe are now to give place to A greater than Solomon (Mt. 12:42), greater than Jonas (Mt. 12:41), greater than Jacob (Jn. 4:12), greater than the temple (Mt. 12:6), greater than Abraham (Jn. 8:53). The work of the servants is done ---merged into the glory of their Master. The rod of Moses has become the rod of iron. The mantle of Elijah falls on the greater Elisha ---Jesus was to be hailed “King of the Jews.


The shadow is transformed into the substance.  The Old Testament is a type and shadow of the Christ.   In Christ alone, is the end, meaning and reality of the Passover- the besprinkled lintels, ---the smitten rock, the serpent of brass, ---the blood-stained mercy-seat, the priesthood, the temple and the feasts.


The bible covers nine temples (abodes) of God.  God created man for one reason:  God longs to have fellowship with man. God chose us to reveal and magnify His Glory of salvation and eternal life. 


God’s first dwelling place with man was in the garden.  And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day.”  The God who made man and placed him in the Garden was the God who came down to that man, walked with him and talked to him.  Then sin separated man from God.  But we know that God walked with Enoch, talked to Abraham and spoke to Moses face to face.


Then God spoke to Moses saying, let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them (Exodus 24:8).  There is no suggestion that Moses proposed to God.  It was God’s idea, - His desire.  This temple was a portable, temporary dwelling place.  The Lord said “There I will meet with you and I will commune with you.”


The Tabernacle of David comes between the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon.  It remained approximately 40 years.  It was given by revelation to David and was a single tent with a single piece of furniture, the Ark of the Covenant.  


Then God gave his consent at the request of David to build a permanent temple.  But, not to David because he was “a man of war;” but to his son, Solomon.  With great magnificence and with tremendous costliness he built the temple.  “Then on the great day of dedication the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (1 Kings 8:11).  Then man’s sin of idolatry angered God and God allowed the destroyer, manifested in Nebuchadnezzar to destroy the temple.


After seventy years, there was a return of the people to Jerusalem under the leadership and anointings of Ezra and Nehemiah.  Zerubbabel’s temple was then built.  This temple was modest compared to Solomon’s.  But the people gave the best they had for the construction materials.  God accepted it and dwelt in it.  And the children of Israel kept the dedication of this House of God with joy.”


The next temple to be built was Herod’s temple. There is no indication that this temple was built in the will of God.  Herod tore down Zerubbabel’s temple and constructed the new temple for the perpetuation of his name.


God again provided His own temple.  Men could not keep the law and God’s covenants, so God had already made provision from the foundations of the earth for a “new and better way” to fellowship with man.


God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…”  (2Cor.5:19).  Jesus said, ‘destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”


Each temple was short lived.  The temple of Christ’s body was destroyed when they nailed it to a tree.  When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and the Holy Spirit of God descended upon the disciples, another temple came into being.


1 Cor. 3:16: Know you not that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you.


2 Co. 6:16: For you are the temple of the living God; as God said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.”


God has again come very near to man.  Because this temple (our earthly bodies) is not eternal, God made a way through grace that the dominion of death was destroyed by the death conqueror for those who have been brought from death to life.


The ninth temple described in the Word of God is a spiritual temple.


2 Co. 5:1: For we know if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.


Ezekiel saw this spiritual temple in visions of God beginning with Chapter 40.  He saw metaphorically the fullness of the gospel temple erected by Christ and his apostles.  Under the types and figures of a city, temple, altar, priests and sacrifices is fore-shown the spiritual worship that would be performed in gospel times and perfected at last in the Kingdom of Glory.  I do not believe the holy remnant in any generation has to wait for the 1000-year reign of Christ to enter into this glorious spiritual temple.  For we are the temple of the living God.  Christ went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man made.  That is to say not a part of this creation (Heb. 9:11).


The dimensions in Ezekiel’s temple are much greater than Mount Moriah!  It is larger than Jerusalem or Canaan.


I believe Jesus Christ will raise up a Church Triumphant on this side of heaven that will experience the Glory of the Lord in all of its fullness.  But it is not automatic; it must be received by faith and the Blood of Christ Jesus.


Son of Man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet.  This is where I will lie among the Israelites (true or spiritual) forever.  The house of Israel will never again defile my holy name – neither they nor their kings – by their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings in high places…I will live among them forever (Ezekiel 43: 7-9).


Any view of restoring animal sacrifice in Israel is a direct insult to the words of Jesus in John 4: 19-25 and the clear teaching of Hebrews that HIS SACRIFICE WAS ONCE FOR ALL, AND NEVER TO BE REPEATED.


John 4: 19-25: The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  Jesus said unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father.  You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.  God is a Spirit and they had worship him must worship him in Spirit and in Truth.  The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ).  “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”


“God is building a different kind of temple.  You are living stones, put together, fused together without the sound of a hammer, without man-made religious systems trying to organize you, brought together by the Spirit of God into a relationship and a unity which only God can do…this is the Temple that Ezekiel saw.  This is the temple that has a river running out of it. A river of life, clear as crystal.  John on the isle of Patmos saw it, Ezekiel saw it and I saw it. 


Vision 1992: “I was on a high place and saw the city at a far distance.  The buildings of the City were white as pearl and the streets of the city were pure liquid gold.  It seems to be flowing like a river.  I saw that it was a walled city, but that was the only detail I was shown except the roof lines of the city were sculptured domes.


The Lord spoke to me in the vision. He said, “CAROLYN TEACH NEW JERUSALEM AS PURITY.”


Eze. 43:10-12: Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins, let them consider the plan, and if they are shamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws.  Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow its regulations:


This is the law of the temple:  All the surrounding area on top of the mountain will be most holy.  Such is the law of the temple


1 Pe. 2:5: You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ...


“To this point, we see the complete exclusion of man from the design of the Temple.  Man is incapable of determining the standards of Divine holiness.  Its entire design was a caricature of the holiness and the perfection of God (Kelly Varner).


The Lord Jesus (God’s Glory) was brought to the temple to be circumcised and dedicated. (Lk.1-2). 


“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” (Rev. 21:1)


Isaiah also prophesied of this, Behold I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)


With the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the way has been cleared for the emergence of this new creation, ‘THE HOME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”.


Rev. 21:1-2: There was no longer any sea, I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (the glorified community of the people of Christ) coming down out of heaven from God:  It is thus emphasized that the church is the city…whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). Not a voluntary association of men and women.  Our mother-city is the heavenly Jerusalem, and she is not a slave to Jewish laws (Gal. 4:26).  …acceptable to God because of our faith.  Hitherto, the glorified saints have been seen in heaven with Christ ‘prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  The beloved community is both city and bride.  A voice from the throne” now proclaims the eternal consummation of the blessings of the gospel.




Jer. 31:33: I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts and I will be their God and they will be my people.”


So, it was when the Word became flesh and pitched his tabernacle among men, so it is in the renewed earth because of the presence of the redeemed community, reflecting the glory of God. (Paraphrased F.F. Bruce bible Commentary)


If anyone is in Christ, says Paul, “he is a new creation.”  James wrote, “He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created”.


He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and He will be my Son.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  This is the second death.”  John’s catalogue of those who are excluded from the blessings of the new creation begins with those who through fear have denied the faith in the face of persecution or temptation.


“No longer will violence be heard in your land or ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls salvation and your gates praise” (Isa. 60:18).

“Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east.  His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory” (Ez. 43:1).


Matthew Henry: “The dimensions of this visionary temple are so large that it plainly intimates, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, that these things cannot be literally, but must be spiritually understood.  This is a vision of the Gospel Temple erected by Jesus Christ and His Apostles.  Under the type and figure of a temple and altar, priests and sacrifices, is fore-shown the spiritual worship that should be performed in gospel times, and perfected at last in the Kingdom of Glory, in which perhaps these visions will have their full accomplishment.”  He says, “some think” and I want to say, “I think”, these visions will have their full accomplishment in the gospel church on this side of heaven in the latter days.”



Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX


Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V.  I entered into the labors of C.W. Slemming, Matthew Henry, quoted from F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Bill Britton and Kelly Varner.  If there are others, I have long ago forgotten.

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