The dedication of the Temple was a day to be remembered in Yisharal's National history. Significant things took place on this great day and such became the seal of Yahuah's favour on the house built for His Name. The house was crowned with His esteem and presence. Let's look at some of the most significant things that took place on this dedication day, for all point to and become prophetic of something that finds its fulfilment in Messiah and His Assembly.
The Dedication was at the Feast of Tabernacles, which was celebrated with an extra Shabath, a day of rejoicing as the people returned to their own homes.
IMAGINE BEING AT THIS SPECTACULAR EVENT !
After the dedication of the altar by blood sacrifices, the Ark of the Blood-Covenant could be then taken into the most Set-Apart place, the Set-Apart oracle. In the procession, the lowly Ark was taken from Mt Zion, from the David's Tent and brought into the Temple on Mt Moriah and placed in 'In it's place" in the most sey-apart oracle. The King led the way, with the Priests following, then the singers and musicians. It is possible that Psalm 24:9-10 was sung. The call came clearly: "Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors", even the doors of the Temple. The priests would receive the Ark from the Levites at these Temple Doors and then take the Ark into the most Set-Apart Place. There the Ark was set between the two great Olive Cherubim, overshadowing it by their outspread wings. The staves were taken out, for the Ark's journeyings were finally over. Only the Divine Laws of Yahuah on the tables of stone from Mt Horeb remained in the Ark of Yahuah.
So the order of Moses and David are united in this new Temple order with the Ark and Praise. All was now ready for the esteem of Yahuah to descend and dwell among His people. As the priests retired from the Set-Apart oracle, the esteem cloud would descend and fill the house.
SINGERS & MUSICIANS
At the dedication of the Temple, we find David's Order of Praise Behaviour in the Singers and Musicians functioning. In the David's Tent (approx 30 years beforehand), the order of Singers and Musicians was established. And now here in the Dedication of the Temple, that order is seen and heard at its best under the anointing of the Spirit of Yahuah.
The Singers and Musicians were arrayed in white linen. These were of the Levites and of the three chief Singers of Asaph, Hernan and Jeduthan. They had instruments of Cymbals, Psalteries and Harps as well as Trumpets, all spoken of as the musical instruments of David. White linen is always the symbol of righteousness and purity. The worshipping Priests of Yahuah should be clothed in the righteousness of Messiah.
It was at the east end of the altar that the ashes were kept and then carried outside the camp in time. Ashes always spoke of a finished work, a completed sacrifice. So these priests were presenting themselves as a living sacrifice and this truth was symbolised in their standing at the east end of the sacrificial altar.
There were 120 trumpeters at this Dedication. The number 120 is significant of the end of all flesh and the beginning of life in the Spirit. In the days of Noah the Spirit strove with man for 120 years . Moses lived 120 years in this world and then was taken to esteem after His burial and resurrection. There were 120 disciples in the upper room for the day of Pentecost when the Set-Apart Spirit fell. This was the dedication of the New Blood-Covenant Assembly, the house of Yahuah. Saul, David and Solomon reigned 120 years in total over a United Kingdom of Yisharal, each having 40 years reign. There were 120 loaves of shewbread on the golden tables in Solomon's Temple. And here we have 120 Trumpeters making one sound and all of one accord when the esteem of Yahuah fell on the house. Significantly also we have 120 Jubilees (120 x 50) which equal 6000 years of time given to man in the flesh in redemptive design. The Seventh day of Yahuah brings all in Messiah to total life in the Spirit, even eternal life.
Almost supernaturally, the singers and trumpeters became as one, making one sound in praising and thanking Yahuah, along with the other instruments of music. Their choir number was "For Yahuah is good, for His mercy endures forever." With such unity, Yahuah commanded the blessing of His esteem cloud.
UNITY (OF ONE MIND)
The Scriptures speak much of the unity of Yahuah's people in order that Yahuah can command His blessing, even life forevermore. The 120 disciples were of one mind in one place, in prayer before the Feast of Pentecost and also on the day of Pentecost. There the Set-Apart Spirit fell in that UNITY and they all spoke with different tongues/languages. The end result of Peter's preaching was seen when 3000 people turned to Yahuah and were added to the Bride.
THE CLOUD OF ESTEEM
It seems that, after the dedication of the Altar of Sacrifice, the placing of the Ark into the Set-Apart Place amidst the unity of singers and musicians - that the esteem cloud of Yahuah descended and filled the House of Yahuah. The Priests could not even stand to minister by reason of the esteem of Yahuah. It was the cessation (pausing) of man's ministry and the revelation of the esteem of Yahuah. The Spirit reigned supreme in that period of time.
*It was this esteem cloud which led Yisharal as the Assembly in the wilderness for 40 years.
* It was this cloud that gave Yisharal light and fire by night and provided a cloud of covering in the day time from the heat.
* The cloud was darkness to the Egyptians but light to Yisharal as the people of Yahuah.
* Paul says that Yisharal was immersed in the Red Sea and in the cloud.
* That cloud was upon Mt Sinai in the giving of the revelation of the Divine Laws, the Priesthood and the Tabernacle of Moses.
* Yahuah left Mt Sinai and appeared in this cloud over the blood-stained mercy seat in the Tabernacle of Moses.
* Yisharal's life was governed by the movements of the cloud in connection with the silver trumpets. All had to follow the cloud.
That cloud had lifted over the years because of Yisharal's idolatry in Canaan land. But now in the dedication of the Temple of Yahuah, that cloud returns in esteem and fills the House of Yahuah. Here it takes its place once again on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Blood-Covenant Witness, the throne of Yahuah in the earth, between the two great Olive Cherubim.
The ultimate fulfilment of the cloud of Yahuah is seen on the Mt of Transfiguration when the true Tabernacle and Temple was revealed. There the Master Yahusha Messiah was overshadowed by the bright cloud and the Father's voice spoke out of the cloud, "This is My beloved Son, hear Him."
A cloud received Yahusha back into heaven and He will come with the clouds again.
Solomon begins his prayer by a recognition of the fact that Yahuah said He would dwell in "thick darkness". It seems contradictory because Yahuah Himself is light. It spoke of the "thick darkness" of the most Set-Apart place, but Yahuah would light it with His esteem-presence. Without His presence there, then it would be thick darkness, for, the Set-Apart Oracle was foursquare, and locked in with the folding doors and the veil from human eyes. Spiritually speaking, believers see Yahuah "through a glass dimly" but one day we will see Him "face to fade".
The prayer covers every area of personal and national life. This Temple was to be a House of Prayer for all Nations, not just for Yisharal. righteous Kings were always men of prayer. We think of Jehoshaphat's prayer in time of battle, Hezekiah prayed against the Assyrian invasion of Judah, Hezekiah prayed at the cleansing of the Temple and the restoration of David's pattern of Praise Behaviour also. Solomon's prayer is a powerful prayer, having all the ingredients of true communication with Yahuah.
DIVINE FIRE OF YAHUAH
When Solomon had finished praying, Divine Fire came down from Heaven and consumed the offerings on the great Altar. The esteem of Yahuah filled the Temple and no Priest could stand to minister by reason of that esteem. When Yisharal saw the esteem and fire on the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground, worshipping and praising Yahuah for His goodness and mercy. It seems that the order of Yahuah's descent was probably as follows:
1. The descent of the cloud of Yahuah's presence over the house.
2. The esteem of Yahuah settling upon the Ark of the Blood-Covenant Witness in the Set-Apart Oracle between the Cherubim.
3. The dedicatory personal offering and prayer of King Solomon.
4. The fire coming out from the esteem cloud to consume the sacrifice on the great altar in the court.
5. The bowing of the congregation in worship and praise in the courts of Yahuah's great house. This seemed to be similar to the order of Yahuah's descent at the dedication of the Tabernacle of Moses at Mt Sinai, after it was finished according to Divine Pattern.
"ESTEEM" and "FIRE" are generally associated in Yisharal's history:
* The cloudy pillar of esteem and fire led Yisharal in the wilderness.
* The fire of Yahuah falling on the sacrifice was the seal of Yahuah's acceptance.
* Fire possibly sealed Abel's sacrifice and acceptance.
* Fire sealed the sacrifices in the dedication of the Tabernacle of Moses.
* Fire sealed David's sacrifice at Ornan's threshing floor.
* Fire sealed the sacrifice of Elijah on the new altar of Yisharal at Mt Carmel.
* Fire sealed Solomon's sacrifices at the dedication of the Temple.
So it was on the day of Pentecost, "tongues like as of fire" sealed the 120 disciples as they presented themselves as living sacrifices to the Master Yahusha Messiah on this anniversary of Moses getting the Covenant at Sinai, and dedication day of the New Blood-Covenant Assembly and living Temple/s of Yahuah.
With the esteem of Yahuah filling the house, and the Divine Fire of Yahuah burning on the Altar, Solomon and Yisharal offered to Yahuah numerous sacrifices on this same day.
The Dedication of Solomon's Temple is rich with shadows for the Bride today, who are now Yahuah's Temple. The Set-Apart Spirit is the Divine Shekinah Esteem in the midst of His people. In His Bridal Fellowship, His Name, His Divine Laws, His presence and His esteem abide. There believers make spiritual sacrifices to Yahuah as the New-Blood Covenant Priesthood, a Royal Priesthood after the line of Melchizedek (not Aaron). Yahusha desires to have us maintain a pure and Set-Apart Temple for His dwelling place, the home of the Portal to His Throneroom.
The Sons of Levi were instructed in the songs of Yahuah and they had musical instruments of harps, psalteries and cymbals. The Divine Order of Praise Behaviour through Music and Song in Yisharal was established in David's Tent, and is now incorporated into the Temple order in the Temple choir and orchestra.
Songs and music have always played an important part in Yisharal's history, as also in our fellowship today. The spiritual rise and fall of the Nation was reflected in its music as it is alot today also.
* The song of Moses is the first recorded song in the Scripture after the great deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
* The song of Deborah also arose out of victory over Yisharal's enemies.
* The songs of David cover a wide range of subjects in the book of Psalms.
* The songs of Zion could not be sung in Babylonian Captivity.
* There were new songs continually through Yisharal's history.
As the ultimate of that which pertains to the Temple finds its fulfilment in the Book of Revelation, so it is with the ministry of music and song. That which is seen in the shadows of both David's Tent and Solomon's Temple is combined in Revelation's order of Praise, finding its perfect and richest expression in the New City of Yahuah around the throne of Yahuah and the Lamb for all eternity. That which was in Solomon's Temple was the prophetic foreshadowing of eternal music and song from the heart of the redeemed of earth, out of every Kindred, Tongue, Tribe and Nation, the New Spiritual Yisharal of Yahusha.
The Queen of Sheba was overcome with all she saw and heard. There was no more spirit in her. She blessed Yahuah and blessed Solomon for all she had seen and heard. A Gentile Queen acknowledges the true Yahuah of Yisharal because of the wisdom she had seen. She gave gifts to Solomon and went back to her own country with a great testimony of the greatness of Yahuah of Yisharal and Yisharal's King.
What great lessons may be found here for the individual believer and for the fellowship as a whole. Instead of foolishness and ignorance, the unregenerate world should behold the esteem and wisdom and knowledge of Yahuah in His Bridal Fellowship. They should be able to acknowledge that Yahusha is in the midst of his Assembly and be convinced of Divine things.
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA
Solomon's Temple was one of the wonders of the then-known world. The Scripture tells how the Kings and Queens of all Nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon and see the house he had built to Yahuah, as well as the esteem of his Kingdom. One of the more detailed accounts of such is given in Kings and Chronicles concerning the visit of a Gentile Queen, the Queen of Sheba. She came from the ends of the earth to see and hear the wisdom of Solomon. So great was this that Yahusha Messiah Himself even spoke of it. He told His generation how the Queen of Sheba came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and "behold, a greater than Solomon is here." This visit, as well as other visits from Gentile Kings and Queens and their peoples, was prophetic of that coming in of the Gentiles, along with Yisharal, to see the wisdom of Yahuah in the Assembly.
ONE GREATER THAN THE TEMPLE
Yahusha said that there was "one greater than the Temple". He also said "A greater than Solomon is here". We know that this One is none other than Yahusha Messiah Himself. He is THE Tabernacle, THE Temple of Yahuah. All that was typified, symbolized and prophetic in the 'material Temple' pointed to and finds its fulfilment in Him personally. The prophet Ezekiel told the people, in the time when they were bereft of all Temple externals, "Thus says the Yahuah . . . I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come" (Ez11).
The sanctuary is no longer A PLACE but it is A PERSON! It is absolutely significant that the esteem of Yahuah never ever did return to the material rebuilt Temple under the restoration prophets. However, on the Mt of Transfiguration, Yahusha Messiah is seen as THE Temple of Yahuah, and the Shekinah-esteem-Light and cloud overshadowed Him as the Father's voice spoke out of the cloud, "This is My beloved son, HEAR HIM!" We worship Him who is Yahuah's Tabernacle and Temple, not as a place, but as a person. He is the fulfilment, personally of all that was symbolized and typified materially. He is Yahuah's pure and Set-Apart Temple, undefiled and filled with the Father's esteem, in whom the fulness of the Name of Yahuah dwells. To worship in the Temple today is to worship Yahuah "in Messiah" who is THE Temple. In this place is ONE greater than the Temple. How or in what way is Messiah greater than the Temple?
1. The Temple was built by the wisdom of Yahuah. Yahusha is the wisdom of Yahuah personified.
2. The Temple was built according to the pattern by the Spirit. Yahusha was made after the flesh according to Divine pattern by the Spirit.
3. The Temple was beautiful inside and outside. Messiah is altogether lovely, both within and without.
4. The Temple was the attraction for all Yisharal's worship, just like Yahusha is the attraction to Yahuah the Father for all our worship. The Temple veil was rent when the time was fully come. Messiah died for all sin in the fulness of time.
6. The Temple was rich in esteem and untold wealth. Messiah is the riches of the esteem and wealth of the Father Yahuah.
7. The Temple was defiled and destroyed by Babylon. Messiah was Set-Apart, harmless and undefiled, and though crucified by man, He was raised from the dead by the Father.
8 The Temple was in a localized and geographical place. Messiah is universally present by the Spirit with all His people. 9. The Temple was built by a King for priestly ministrations. Messiah is both King and priest in the order of Melchisedek which consists of all believers as Kings and priests unto Yahuah. 10. The Temple was Yahuah's temporal dwelling place, for sacrifices. Messiah is Yahuah's eternal dwelling and once-for-all sacrifice.
In conclusion, the Temple study has been considered from a fourfold aspect; as a type of Messiah, THE Temple of Yahuah, then of the believers, individually Yahuah's Temple, and then the Assembly, as Yahuah's corporate Temple and ultimately the city of Yahuah, the eternal dwelling place of the redeemed.
With all that has been written, where indeed "every bit of the Temple utters His esteem" (Ps 29), we can only bring our study to its conclusion with a word from the King and the prophets about this Temple. King Solomon, who built the Temple, recognised that the material Temple he built could never contain Yahuah, and that Yahuah was not limited to this house. Solomon himself said, "But who is able to build Him a house, seeing the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?" The prophet Isaiah also said as he asked Yahuah's question, "Where is the house that you build Me?" ... after stating the truth that the heavens are His throne and the earth is His footstool.
The sad thing both in Jeremiah's day and Yahusha's times, is seen in the fact that the Jews worshipped the Temple of Yahuah and missed the Yahuah of the Temple. In AD 70 Yahuah allowed the whole Temple system to be totally destroyed, never to be restored again either in this age or any age to come.
Will Yahuah dwell with men? He did so in the person of Yahusha. Yahuah dwells in Messiah. Messiah dwells in His people. We will eternally Praise Yahuah and the Lamb in that eternal dwelling place, of which all earthly dwelling places were prophetic. In that city of Yahuah there is no Temple for Yahusha the Lamb is the Temple there and the light is the esteem thereof.
NO MORE TEMPLE BUILDINGS
The fact that Yahuah's Divine-Shekinah-Esteem never returned to Zerubbabel's rebuilt Temple is significant in itself. The Father finished with the Temple when He rent the veil in two from top to bottom. Yahusha finished with the Temple when He sought to cleanse it at the beginning and close of His ministry, which cleansing they totally rejected. Also He prophesied of its total destruction under Rome. Yahusha finished with the material Temple when He by-passed it and came to dwell in the New-Blood Covenant Temple, the Bridal Fellowship, which is the body of Messiah. The Set-Apart Spirit has always wanted to dwell in redeemed hearts, living stones of a living Temple. He will never go back to a material Temple even though Jewry would build one!
THE TEMPLE IN REVELATION
In Revelation 11 John is given a vision. Here Yahusha comes to him with a measuring reed in His hand and tells him to rise and "measure the Temple, and the altar, and them that worship therein". Now is this text speaking of a literal rebuilt material Temple, or is it speaking of a spiritual and symbolical Temple (e.g. the Assembly)?
It will be remembered that the material Temple at Yerushalim had been destroyed about twenty-five or more years before John received the vision on the Isle of Patmos. So we ask ourselves again, is this Temple measured here, with its altar and worshippers, and its court unmeasured, referring to a material or symbolical Temple - is it literal or spiritual?
1. The overcomer will be made a pillar in the Temple of Yahuah having the Name of Yahuah upon him. This certainly is not a literal or material Temple but it is spoken of concerning the believer in a spiritual and symbolic sense.
2. The tribulation believers are to be before the Throne of Yahuah and serve Him day and night in His Temple. This is certainly not referring to a material building either, but to the spiritual Temple in Heaven.
3. At the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the Temple of Yahuah is opened in Heaven, and there is seen in His Temple the Ark of the Blood-Covenant. This undoubtedly refers to the Heavenly Temple, to heaven's most set-apart of all and Yahusha coming into activity for His people.
4. The Anti-Messiah beast blasphemes Yahuah, and His Name, and His Tabernacle and them that dwell in Heaven. Again John is seeing the Heavenly Tabernacle of which the earthly was only the passing shadow. He is seeing the prototype, the heavenly original of all earthly shadows.
5. In Revelation 15 the Temple of the Testimony in Heaven is opened, and the smoke of Yahuah's esteem filled the place. No man could enter into the Temple until the seven final plagues of the wrath of Yahuah had been poured out on the earth. Once more we see it is the Heavenly Temple in view of which the earthly Temple was but the shadow.
6. John heard the voice of Yahuah out of the Temple, from the Throne of Yahuah, in the midst of great judgments, as seen in Revelation 16. The final mention of a Temple is found in Revelation 21 where John saw no (material, earthly) Temple, "for the Master Yahusha Almighty, the Lamb are the Temple of it" — the city of Yahuah. Certainly not a material Temple here.
Thus we have about sixteen references altogether in Revelation to this word "Temple". The word "Tabernacle" is also used several times. Fourteen out of these sixteen usages speak of the Heavenly Temple — NOT a material Temple, not to a earthly or literal Temple.
How comforting this was to John. He had been with Yahusha in His 3.5 years ministry at the literal or actual Temple in Yerushalim. He had heard Messiah's prediction concerning its destruction under Prince Titus and the Roman armies. He had lived to see its destruction in A.D. 70 in the seige of Yerushalim. And here he is on the Isle of Patmos about 25 years or so later than the destruction of that Temple at Yerushalim.
Here in vision he saw the real Temple, the spiritual Temple, the Heavenly Temple. Earthly Temples may be defiled, desecrated and destroyed, but there was a heavenly Temple that would never be destroyed. Earthly Temples may be seen and be temporal, but the Heavenly Temple, unseen (except in the Spirit) is eternal.
We return once more now to the vision of the Temple in Revelation 11. Is it a literal/material Temple or is it a symbolic/spiritual Temple? The question may well be asked: Why when every other reference to 'Temple' in Revelation is spiritual and heavenly is this one interpreted to be a material or literally rebuilt Temple at Yerushalim? Why when John's whole vision is of the spiritual Temple would he return to a material Temple which he knew had been destroyed in the past?
Nowhere do the New Blood-Covenant writers ever speak of a rebuilt material Temple for the Jewish Nation in the end-time before the coming of Messiah. The idea of Revelation 11 being a rebuilt Jewish Temple has arisen out of the misinterpretation of the notable "Seventy Weeks Prophecy" of Daniel 9.
Truly the Temple is symbolic and spiritual and speaks of the Bridal Assembly, the home of the Portal of His Presence. (Please note! If the Jews do rebuild a Temple of some sort, whether on the site of the Mosque of Omar, "The Dome of the Rock", or elsewhere, Yahusha will never ever again endorse such Old Covenant and Mosaic ritualism again. His esteem-presence will never ever return to such.
The esteem of Yahuah never has returned to any rebuilt material Temple since the destruction of Solomon's Temple under Babylon. Any rebuilt Temple will just be another Temple that Yahusha will destroy at His second coming! John's vision, then, shows a threefold measuring taking place. John is given a measuring rod and Yahusha told him to rise and measure three things:
* The Temple of Yahuah (living dwellings)
* The Altar (prayers/communication)
* The Worshippers (behaviour)
The outer court is left unmeasured and to be trodden under foot for 3.5 years. The spiritual truth symbolised here may be understood, at least in measure, in the following manner. The Bridal Fellowship, the people of Yahusha, will experience the measuring rod of Yahuah, the Living Words of the Scriptures, applied to them in these last days. As all in the Old Covenant writings measured up to the Divine standard, so will believers as Living Stones in Yahusha's fellowship, His New Blood-Covenant Temple. The Assembly must come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Messiah, unto a perfect and mature man. The altar of the prayers and intercessions of the Bride will also be measured, even as the Golden Altar in the Solomon's Temple had Divine measurements upon it, as also the incense burnt thereon.
The people of Yahusha, as worshippers, will also be measured up, for the Father is seeking true worshippers, who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. However, sad to say, there will be those believers who are in the "outer court" relationship with Yahusha (half the Bride is foolish for they don't draw close and possess the oil). These fail to measure up to the Divine standard. Yahusha said, if the salt had lost its savour, wherewith could it be salted. It was good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.
So these believers are unmeasured, cast out, trodden under foot in that 3.5 year period of time. They are "outer court" unwise maidens, who will probaby lose their life in the final period of intense pressure in the end-times, immediately prior to the coming of Yahusha.
Whatever else may be the full significance of John's "Temple-vision", it is evident that some people are measured by the rod of Yahusha, and others are not measured, but trodden under foot. Even if the vision was applied to Jewry, these truths are still truths! Surely there is enough in this vision to challenge all believers to measure up to the Divine standard of daily behaviour, through the rod of Yahuah, Yahusha Messiah our Alahim and King!
THE TEMPLE IS NOW THE FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS, THE SET-APART CITY OF YAHUSHA, MADE UP OF PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE - LIVELY STONES BROUGHT IN JAGGED, SHARP AND ROUGH FROM THE QUARRIES OF THE WORLD, THEN SMOOTHED AND POLISHED (TESTED & MEASURED) AND FITTED TOGETHER TO FORM A ROYAL CITY (A FELLOWSHIP OF LIKE-MINDED BELIEVERS) ... AND VERY SOON THEY'LL FORM THE NEW DIVINE CITY OF YERUSHALIM THAT'S COMING FROM THE CLOUDS.
ARE YOU WILLING TO GO THROUGH THE TESTS AND TRIALS, TO OFFER YOURSELF ON THE ALTAR DAILY AS A LIVING SACRIFICE (OFFERING THE BULLS OF YOUR LIPS) AS YOU PICK UP YOUR TORTURE STAKE AND FOLLOW YAHUSHA, SHARING IN HIS SUFFERINGS, AS THE FLESH-LIFE, EGO AND DESIRES BURN UP - PRODUCING A SWEET FRAGRANCE THAT PLEASES YAHUSHA AS YOU BECOME TAKE ON MORE OF HIS LIGHT WITHIN YOU ... AS THE TRUE FULFILLMENT OF EVERY ALTAR, BUSH, TABERNACLE AND TEMPLE THAT YAHUSHA APPEARED IN ... NOW HE WANTS YOU ...