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"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God..." (1 Peter 4:17). The two cleansings of the temple may have been accomplished as a prophetic foreshadow, first of the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD, and second of the judgment of the nations at Christ's second coming (Matt 25: 31-46).
Christ deliberately cleansed the Great Temple in Yerushalayim at the beginning (Mt 21:13; Jo 2:11-12) and at the end of His earthly ministry (Mt 21: 17-23) because it was to be a house of prayer of quietness, of solitude of prayer to Him. The place set aside for prayer in the temple precincts for the populace had become a place of trading, money changing, and purchase of sacrificial animals and birds at extortionate prices! In effect Christ was citing the riot act to the Jewish leaders who were profaning the Temple! The whole temple precinct was a place where ALHYM’S glory resided, particularly in the Holy of Holies. Remember, from the outset ALHYM (Ge 1:1 Hebrew) declared that “The temple is not for man but for YHWH” (1 Chr 29:1). Man, His special people, the priests he had set aside, had taken it over! It was no wonder that Christ was so angry and upset. By the same token The Messiah (The Christ) gave the Jews the reason to mark Him out for special attention – “How dare this son of Joseph do this to us the officially anointed guardians of the temple?” They did not know that He was The Messiah. They also did not know that just prior to the last whipping returning of the money changers’ tables that ALHYM’S glory had been withdrawn from the temple in preparation for a major historic transfer to the body of each one of His Son’s disciples. “O Yerushalayim, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate;” (Mt 23: 37-38) The word “desolate” is echoing the Hebrew word “Ichabod” (1 Sam 4:21-23) when the “kabod”, glory left Yshral, and when the earth had become “without form and void” or in Hebrew “tohu va bohu” (Ge 1:2). This Hebrew couplet occurs three times and is used by the Holy Spirit as a dire warning for the judgment for sin (Ge 1:2; Isa 34:11; Jer 4:21). In other words, Christ is saying “It’s no longer My house, because ALHYM, My Father, your Father, has left it. It’s now abandoned for ruin – it’s now cursed to ruination because you are about to reject Me, ALHYM’S Son. Christ had intimated this to His disciples that this would be so (Jo 2:17-22). ALHYM’S glory which had left Adam when he sinned in the Garden of Eden, was relocated in the Tent of the Tabernacle whenever ALHYM appeared (Exo 40: 34-38) and later in the Temple in Yerushalayim (2 Chro 7:1), then in the New Covenant in Christ when He was glorified (Ac 1:9-11), and then the next day on SHAVUOT (Pentecost) in the disciples of Christ when they received the Holy Spirit, 120 or so Jewish men and women (Ac 2:1-4), then the 3,000 or so men (Ac 2:37- 43). ALHYM called out of the world, individuals from their “ church” of the day (synagogue, The Great Temple of Yerushalayim) into the glorified body of Christ, into His home (Eph 2:19-22)– He called it The EKKLESIA (Ac 2:47 Greek). Later Gentiles (those not Yshral), were called out of their pagan temples into the Ekklesia as the ones grafted as wild olive branches into the olive tree of Yshral (Ro 11: 16- 19). The physical Temple in Yerushalayim was razed to the ground, stone by stone in AD 70 by Rome. Disciples of the glorified, living iEsou Christou (Mt 1:1 Greek) now house the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19-20). The Old Covenant era of separation from ALHYM through the Temple system of sacrifices and priests was ended at the Cross, and the New Covenant era of iEsou christou and the Holy Spirit began with the creation of a new race of men and women and their households. “ ….the head of every man is Christ, the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is ALHYM” (1 Cor 11:4b) Christ amalgamated three roles of the Old Covenant: The Man as head of the household became the PRIEST – representing his household to ALHYM; the PROPHET – representing ALHYM to His oikos.
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