Morning Bible Study
We have crossed through the time-space continuum into the infinite. We have gone through the future events into a
time where there is a new heaven and earth.
of eternity is a city called the New Jerusalem.
:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are
:22 its temple
Where God dwells
naos – used of the temple at
Jerusalem, but only of the building that contained the Holy place and the Holy
In Jesus’ day,
the entire Temple complex would look something like this … while the naos would just be this one building.
We can get kind of confused when it comes to religious buildings.
The Temple was
not like a church building where people come, sing songs, and listen to
somebody teach about the Bible.
The Temple was
considered a place where God dwelt. The
people would come to the Temple to give God worship, but only the priests
entered the actual naos. The people stayed out in the courtyards.
There have been
several Temples through the ages
the first Temple. It was destroyed in
the second Temple, which was later enlarged by Herod the Great, and destroyed
There will be a
third Temple, one which will be defiled by the antichrist in the Tribulation
There will be a
fourth Temple (Ezekiel’s) in the Millennium.
For now, there
is no “Temple” … or is there?
The Bible tells us that there are two places where God dwells on this
dwells in us, the church,
when we are gathered together.
(1 Co 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 Do you not
know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in
you? 17 If anyone defiles
the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple
The word “you” (vs. 16,17) is plural. Southerners might say “y’all”.
Paul is saying to the church in Corinth that when they are
together, they are a sort of “temple”.
And Paul’s warning is to those who would try to hurt or destroy the
dwells in me, each of us
(1 Co 6:19 NKJV) Or do you
not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Coming to Him as to
a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5you also, as living
stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
each “you” is singular, it’s about
When we open our hearts to God and learn to trust Jesus
Christ as our Savior, God comes to dwell in us through the person of the Holy
Your body is a temple.
God lives in you.
Pay attention to the things we’re going to look at today,
because it’s all about the place where God dwells.
If these things are appropriate for the New Jerusalem,
they will be appropriate to us as individuals, as well as the church.
:23 The city
had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God
illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
:23 no need of the
This will be the fulfillment of a prophecy by Isaiah:
(Is 60:19–20 NKJV) —19
“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness
shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord
will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no
longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
It might be that there will be no sun or moon, or it could just mean that
the city doesn’t need the light of the sun or moon to function.
:24 And the nations
of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth
bring their glory and honor into it.
The Gentiles shall
come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
:24 the nations of
those who are saved
– ethnos – a multitude; a tribe,
nation; Paul uses the term for Gentile Christians
It’s the same word that’s used in the LXX in Isaiah:
(Is 60:3 NKJV) The Gentiles
shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
In heaven, the song we will sing to the Lamb includes these words:
(Re 5:9 NKJV) …For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out
of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
The people that are going in and out of the city have been saved from every
Temples and nations
The New Jerusalem will have inhabitants from every nation. How could that be?
Before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave us this command:
(Mt 28:19–20 NKJV) —19
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age.” Amen.
This is not just a command for the twelve apostles. They were commanded to teach their followers
to follow everything that Jesus told them to do, including reaching ALL nations
We call this command
the “Great Commission”.
It’s an obligation that every one of us who claim to
follow Jesus ought to take seriously.
for both types of “temples” – “Us” and “Me”.
It involves a single command: Make disciples.
That involves having a heart for lost people and a desire
that they come to know about Jesus.
But it also involves helping them to grow as a follower of
Jesus said to make “disciples”, not “decisions”.
This is part of what our church is about, why we do our
Thursday night “Servant School”, to grow as followers of Jesus.
The command involves “going”.
It means that sometimes we have to get out of our comfort
people might travel to another country (like the Mexico outreach next weekend),
while others might
have to travel to the next cubicle at work.
The fact that this
involves “nations” has another implication.
is no place for racism in the church.
Heaven is going to be filled with lots of people who don’t
look like you. People who are very
different from you.
Race” video clip.
to love ALL nations now. You’ll be much
more comfortable when you get to heaven!
:25 Its gates shall
not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
Therefore your gates
shall be open continually; They shall not be shut day or night, That men
may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, And their kings in procession.
:25 there shall be no
This place will be open 24/7 because it’s always daytime.
The Bible tells us that God is that light source.
(1 Jn 1:5–7 NKJV) —5 This is
the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light
and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him,
and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk
in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and
the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we honestly allow God’s light into our lives, into our
temples, then He will begin to change us and He will begin to take out all the
person who claims to know God, but whose life never has any trash taken
out might not know Him like they claim.
:26 And they shall
bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
:16 they shall
bring the glory
This comes from Isaiah:
(Is 60:11 NKJV) Therefore your gates shall be open continually; They shall not be
shut day or night, That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
And their kings in procession.
In ancient days, it was the practice of kings and nations to bring their
wealth to the greatest king.
was surrounded by the Assyrian army, but when news got out about how God sent an angel and
killed 185,000 Assyrians in a single night, the world responded:
(2 Ch 32:23 NKJV) And many brought gifts to the Lord
at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in
the sight of all nations thereafter.
In a way, it’s a little similar to the Roman Triumph, a parade where the
conquering general comes into Rome and presents the spoils of his victory.
glory – doxa – glory, splendor, brightness
Glory is not just about wealth, but about the “spotlight”.
Who is in the “spotlight”? That’s
the person getting “glory”.
“Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you! For you say that it
means nothing to swear ‘by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to swear ‘by
the gold in the Temple.’ 17And when you swear ‘by the Temple,’ you are swearing by it
and by God, who lives in it. 22
Corrie Ten Boom
used to tell the story about
a proud woodpecker who was tapping away at a dead tree when the sky unexpectedly turned
black and the thunder began to roll. Undaunted, he went right on working. Suddenly a bolt of
lightning struck the old tree, splintering it into hundreds of pieces. Startled but unhurt, the haughty bird flew off, screeching to
his feathered friends, "Hey, everyone, look what I did! Look what I
Sometimes I’m just a little too quick to tell you all about the great
things I accomplished for God today. Sometimes
I wonder if we really know what it is to allow God to work through us – instead
we are constantly trying to prove to God and other people that we are awesome.
It’s okay to let others know what kinds of things you’ve been doing for
God, but make sure you keep it clear in your head just who is doing the real,
effective work – it’s God.
When Paul and Barnabas
were in Lystra, they saw a man who had been crippled in his feet since
birth. Paul reached out to the man and
the man was healed. When the people of
the city saw what had happened, they went wild and began to call Paul and
Barnabas “gods” (Zeus and Hermes). They
even brought animals and flowers to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. Listen to
(Ac 14:14–15 NLT)
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening,
they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, 15 “Friends,
why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come
to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and
turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in
Me? I would have probably waited
until after the barbeque was over, and then maybe mumbled something about not
really being a “god”.
knew where the spotlight belonged. It
belonged on God.
:27 But there
shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a
lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
:27 anything that
Just because the gates to New Jerusalem are open 24/7 doesn’t mean that
just any old thing can go in.
In eternity, there will be no unclean thing coming into the New Jerusalem,
and I imagine because all unclean things will be in the Lake of Fire.
If we are going to learn to live like the “temples” we’re supposed to be,
we need to realize that there are some things that don’t belong in the temple.
day, the Temple of Solomon was about to be destroyed. One of the reasons was because of the filthy
things that they had allowed to take place inside the Temple. Ezekiel was given a vision where he got to peek inside and see
what the religious
leaders were doing secretly inside the Temple.
(Eze 8:9–10 NKJV) —9 And He
said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing
there.” 10 So I went in and
saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the
idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls.
(Eze 8:12 NKJV) —12
Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of
the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For
they say, ‘The Lord does not see
us, the Lord has forsaken the
It’s bad enough to think that these fellows were doing bad
things inside God’s Temple, but I’m a little creeped out to think that God
allowed another man to see what secrets were going on behind closed doors.
(1 Co 6:18–20
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the
body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know
that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you
have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore
glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Keep God’s house (you) clean. Treat it right.
Learning to say “no” to the bad things that want to enter the gates of your
life involves how much you want Him to be your “Lord”.
:27 in the Lamb’s
Book of Life
In the Book
It seems to me that the language isn’t saying that if you’ve ever been “abominable”
or a “liar” that you will not enter into heaven, because we have all been those
(1 Co 6:9–11 NKJV) —9 Do you not
know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,
nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the
kingdom of God. 11 And such were some
of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in
the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The real issue isn’t what you have done, but whether or
not you have allowed God to help you from here out.
When you open up your heart to Jesus, He takes all of your
bad things and washes them.
He helps you get a new start. He
writes your name in His Book of Life.