Pondering from the Ponderosa, continues. It is true that there was a time when God made Himself known to the Jews by revealing His presence in a temple made with hands. This temple was to be a very special place. God handpicked craftsmen to build it. Each of these builders was adequately equipped and given special wisdom and talent. There were engineers, carpenters, brick masons, and other specialists. They were all gifted artisans who came together to make all that the Lord commanded (Exodus 35:10; 36:1). They were to follow an exact blueprint that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25:9).
God made it abundantly clear why such great care was to be taken on the physical earthly dwelling. He was going to meet with the people in that tabernacle (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 6–8). That must have been an incredible sight. People stood in awe and watched as the cloud came down and rested upon the temple. The God who created them, the God who created this entire universe, visibly revealed Himself to fallen human beings. His presence made known in this way is called “the glory of the Lord” or the shechinah glory. In the Old Testament, these manifestations of God were in the form of the angel of the Lord, light, ﬁre, or a cloud, or a combination of these.
God continued to manifest His presence to Israel in the temple for many years, but the Jews began to rebel against Him. Their rebellion became so blatant that Ezekiel wrote that God’s presence eventually left the temple. This extremely sad scene is described in Ezekiel. God is shown as leaving in stages, each one showing His reluctance to go. He went from the mercy seat and paused over the threshold of the temple and then moved above it (Ezekiel 10:4).
From the threshold of the temple, He moved above and beyond the temple and stood at the eastern gate (Ezekiel 10:18–19). Next the glory of the Lord went up from the east side of the temple and stood on the mountain (Ezekiel 10:22–23). At last, the word Icabod,which means “for the glory of the Lord has departed,” was etched over the temple. God had departed from the temple. What a horrible day that must have been!
Hundreds of years passed. Then one day, it happened. Catch this glimpse! God moved into a new temple, a temple not made of wood or stone or bricks. It is a temple not filled with pews or laden with carpets or with windows filled with stained glass or beautiful rooms with hanging chandeliers. Fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God sent the Holy Spirit who located His presence within the bodies of all believers. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of ﬁre, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1–4). The church of Jesus Christ—believers from every nation, kindred, and tongue—became the dwelling place of God that day. The bodies of Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and we have been bought with the price of His precious blood. Therefore, we are to glorify (shed light upon) Him (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 2 Corinthians 6:16).
Paul’s letter to Roman believers makes clear the same truth (Romans 5:5). The moment we become a Christian, God the Holy Spirit comes into our bodies and takes up permanent residence. In fact, the Spirit’s presence is absolute proof that we are connected to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9).
Paul called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of Christ.” This is one of the miraculous things about the Trinity. The members of the Trinity are coexistent. When one member is present, all three are there (Colossians 1:27). All of Christ’s prophetic words in John 14:20 are fulfilled. Christ is now seated with His Father, we are in Him, and He is in us! What an incredible thought! What an amazing glimpse into the unseen realm of a holy God. Stay safe and stay tuned.