What’s going on in the temple?

So this broke my heart this morning.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. – Matthew 26:3-4

From what I can tell, while the Second Temple stood, until 70 AD, this hall of the high priest, where the Sanhedrin met, was located in the temple. I can’t be completely sure, but I think this is the place they met.

My heart was drawn back to the dedication of Solomon’s temple.

David had this great idea. I’m going to build a house for God. God liked the idea, but would not let David the warrior build it. David was a warrior from His youth, and God wanted His house built by a man of peace.

When Solomon finished the building of this house for God, He showed up. He filled the temple with His glory, and promises were made.

It’s a wonderful passage. It’s a few verses, but worth reading. The offer God makes to Solomon is staggering when you think about it.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. – 2 Chronicles 7:12-16 NASB

The passage goes on to make promises and layout conditions, but essentially, God promises Solomon and Israel, as long as you walk with Me, I’ll be your God, a Father to you, and care for you.

I know this temple was destroyed, and the temple we see in the Gospels was rebuilt in the days of Ezra. No such promises are made, no such glory is imparted, but God was in the rebuilding.

The ark of the covenant is in this temple. The holy of holies is considered the dwelling place of the Most High God. It’s in this temple that Zacheriah meets with Gabriel. It’s here the Messiah is dedicated as an infant.

But here in Matthew 26, these High Priests and elders of the people plan out the murder of God’s own Son.

David’s great temple, a place for God to dwell among His people has fallen so far from it’s place of glory. Rather than a house of prayer where God’s people could come and cry out for God’s mercy, and He would hear and answer and forgive, it’s been usurped by those who would cry out “No God for me,” and “We will not have this man to rule over us.”

It so saddens me.

And it warns my heart.

How easy it is to take our own temples, the heart we once dedicated as a dwelling place for the Most High, and allow it to house sedition and betrayal. We allow the unclean into the holy of holies. It comes in through the eye gates and ear gates and settles in the halls of the high priest.

The hall of the high priest–that place designed for intercession and worship–for righteous judgment–turned into a place of darkness and secrecy–a place hidden from the light of day. The secret place turned it a place of secrets.

Lord, clean the temple of my heart today. Bring the light of Your presence into the corners where I’ve let darkness prevail. Flood this dwelling place with your presence as You did when Solomon invited You into the temple he built centuries ago.

Have your way in me today.

BenSee you again soon,



I’ve heard folks say… “I read the end of the book and…God wins!

True enough, but there is some other stuff in the end of the book that is a little mind blowing. 

If you know me, you know I’m pretty jazzed about the fact that God takes up residnece in the believe’s life. 

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. – John 14:23 NASB

Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that Jesus, by His shed blood, breaks down our walls and fits us together as a dwelling place for the Father.

I pointed to Paul’s statment in 2 Corinthians, pulled forward from Jeremiah and Ezekiel that He would be our God and we would be His people.

Well guess what! That is were the book ends, and with a bang.

Check this out:

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. – Revelation 21:2

Wait—what? The bride of Christ is what? I thought I was the bride of Christ. I thought the Church was the bride of Christ. What am I missing here?

I want to show you something wonderful. God’s deepest desire for man, from the day He breathed the breath of life into Adam and made him a living soul, was to walk with man, to dwell with and in man.

The greatest picture of this is Jesus, the God-man. As man as man can be, and yet all the fullness of the Godhead dwelled within Him. All man. All God.

Jesus came as our Savior, God taking the punishment for sin upon Himself.

Jesus also came as a picture of God’s desire for man. Christ in you, the hope of Glory (or can I tweak it a tad and say, Christ in you, the fulfilment of Glory’s hope.)

So here it is, in the 2nd to last chapter of the whole book:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, – Revelation 21:3

This is not the echo of those other word, they were a foreshadoing of this moment. The moment when God reveals the bride, the wife of the Lamb!

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, – Revelation 21:9-10

The bride is a city! Jerusalem, the city of the great King. Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God Himself.

This triggered something huge in my heart. Jerusalem, sometimes called Zion, represents the body of believes, the bride of Christ. Jesus perpared this dwelling place for the Father by His blood and through His body on the cross.

I promised I would change the way you read the Psalms, well, here it is.

Next time you run into a reference to Zion in the Psalms, plug yourself, and your local community of faith into the text and see what happens in your heart.

Here are a few examples to chew on.

“But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” – Psalm 2:6

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad. – Psalm 14:7

Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King. – Psalm 48:2

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth. – Psalm 50:2

His tabernacle is in Salem; His dwelling place also is in Zion. – Psalm 76:2

The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. – Psalm 87:2

Hope there’s a wow in your spirit as you ponder this.

I have to tell you, believers need community. You’re a building block, a part of the body. Don’t live your life like a lone leggo lying on the living room floor. God’s plan includes you, fitted in place.

To be clear–I don’t care if you sit in a pew or a coushined chair and “attend” a Sunday meeting. I don’t care if your community meets in a living room, a hotel conference ceter, or a diner. You simply need to live life with other believers. 

You need to “one-another” somebody.

We are the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, Mt Zion, the Holy City, a dwelling place for the All Mighty!


Thanks for stopping by today.

Shine on!



Today, I want to talk to you from the back end of Ephesians 2.

Paul’s talking to the gentile believers in Ephesus about how God, by the blood of Jesus, has taken down the dividing walls that separated them from the Jews.

If you can believe this, there were divisions in the Church! 

I know, hard to grasp, right?

We all know our society is split up a dozen ways. In the US at least, there are fractures everywhere, and these breaks are growing day by day.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, – Ephesians 2:13-14 NASB

This dividing wall between Jew and Gentile is not the only wall the blood of Jesus can break down.

All the walls of hate that separate us are fodder for His blood.

Walls that devide the races.

Walls that devide denominations.

Walls that devide rich and poor.

Republican and democrat.

Educated and uneducated.

by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, – Ephesians 2:15 NASB

But to what end?

Why take this fractured mess and bring it together as One New Man?

What’s the point?

Frankly, it’s so He can build something new.

He had to tear down the walls we built between us so that He could erect walls around us. More precisely, He desires to use us as building materials for a new structure.

This is the part I really love!

having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, – Ephesians 2:20-21 NASB

He breaks the walls down that separate us, then, as a master builder, fits us together. 

But to what end? 

Jesus is not building a temple where we come to remember a distant God and His works from long ago.

He’s not making a museum or library.

in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22 NASB

He destroyed all that separates us and built a home for our Father. 

God didn’t send Jesus to build a memorial to a God of the past. He sent Jesus to prepare a place where He Himself could be at home with His family. A place where He could—well, I like the way Paul puts it, borrowing heavily from Jerimiah:

just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. – 2 Corinthians 6:16 NASB (check out Jeremiah 7:23 and Ezekiel 11:20

Frankly, daily relationship is all God wanted from the day He thought of Adam. God’s heart yearns to commune with you, with us. He longs for the day when He can walk with this One New Man in the garden in the cool of the day. When our conversations would include Him. When His voice would be heard in the congregation of the saints.

We tend to put off this level of relationship with the Father to the day we go to heaven, but that’s not God’s plan. His desire is to dwell among men. Emanuel—God with us.

That’s enough for today, but next time, I want to talk with you about Zion, the city of the great King. It’s a revelation that will change the way you read the Psalms.

Thanks for coming by.

Don’t miss it.

Love y’all.