Jesus Christ is our
pattern. When he describes what a proper relationship to God looks like we pay
attention. Then we look at how he spent His time and how he responded to the
situations he faced. From these we learn how to respond. We see the pattern
of Israel always coming to a place where they doubted and disobeyed God. We see
the consequences for their pattern of disobedience. We learn from that.
Paul – The Joiner of
Old & New
Apostle Paul, while a converted follower of Jesus Christ, still embraced the
Temple and its pattern in his own devotional life. We see this in the book of
Acts at least twice:
Early in his Christian life, in Acts 22:17-18:
happened just as Ananias said. After I was back in Jerusalem and praying one
day in the Temple, lost in the presence of God, I saw him, God's Righteous
Innocent, and heard him say to me, 'Hurry up! Get out of here as quickly as you
can. None of the Jews here in Jerusalem are going to accept what you say about
Later, in Acts 24:17-18:
several years I came up [to Jerusalem] to bring to my people contributions of
charity and offerings. While I was engaged in presenting these, they found
me [occupied in the rites of purification] in the temple, without any
crowd or uproar. AMP
This is significant
because it shows that Paul, arguably one of the most ardent followers of Christ
who ever lived, saw value in temple principles and even incorporated the old
purification principles into his own devotional pattern.
Paul, we know, was
not given to add anything to his faith in Jesus Christ. Yet there is also no
doubt he saw the truth that Christ fulfilled every aspect of the Old Testament
priestly worship pattern. The Lord led him to connect the old and the new.
Paul had trained his whole life as a Pharisee priest and was intimately familiar
with how to worship God according to the Temple pattern. Yet Christ was now the
object of all his prayer and worship. This was the Old Testament pattern with
its perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
The Temple pattern
is found throughout Scripture. We find it with David and with Solomon. When
Jesus Christ came, He became the human pattern of the divine temple. “Tear down
this temple and I’ll rebuild it in three days”, he said. He was speaking of
His body the new temple of God. The Apostle Paul taught followers of Christ
that they were God’s temple, bought with a price. God resides in His temple
and God was now in His people fully.
see the real temple in heaven mentioned in the book of Revelation. For
Christians today the same pattern holds. Moses’ temple was a type and shadow,
a copy of the heavenly tabernacle. Our bodies are as well. As such, the
Temple pattern of worship as fulfilled by Jesus Christ is still our best
personal pattern to approach God in prayer. As you explore the Temple pattern,
and how Christ fulfills each aspect of it, you see how all things point to, and
indeed are fulfilled in, Jesus Christ.
This being the
case, we nevertheless face the daily challenge of maintaining and growing our
relationship with God. We know that the words “temple,” “tabernacle,” and
“house of God” all basically mean the same thing: a sanctuary dedicated,
consecrated, and sacred to, the presence of the Lord.
Praying through the
Temple pattern, appreciating and honoring God’s step-by-step process to approach
Him, offers special blessing to the practitioner. We are ministering as
priests when we do this. We are fulfilling our role as members of the royal
priesthood. It is a marvelous act of worship.
The Temple pattern
is straightforward. It embraces the core of the whole Bible and its teachings
on approaching, worshipping, and being reconciled to, God. The important idea
is this: the tabernacle is a physical representation of God’s presence. Its
dimensions and patterns illustrate divine reality.
Here are the six
All people are sinners (OT:
outside the Tabernacle). They can only be reconciled to God through a
blood sacrifice in the Tabernacle’s outer court (OT: the Brazen Altar).
Jesus is the last blood sacrifice ever required by God; this work is
finished. Through His blood sacrifice we obtain forgiveness,
deliverance, Sonship, righteousness and complete healing
(as well as other things).
All people still sin every
day. Our pride rises up so quickly. To approach God we can only come in
humility with a contrite and repentant heart (OT: the Laver). The
Laver represents an opportunity for us to wash ourselves by reflecting on
God’s standards and repenting of our sins. Our goal is to do this daily,
developing a lifestyle of repentance. The 10 Commandments (OT: law) no
longer condemn us but instead, though reflection at the Laver, lead us to
Now that we are “under the blood” and our
conscience is clean, we can come closer to the Lord (OT: the Holy
Place). Here, we first focus on the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit
(OT: the Candlestick) illuminates our walk with Christ by being our
ever-present helper, counselor and intercessor, sent when Jesus went to be
with the Father.
With the Spirit in us, we
can understand the Word of God (OT: Table of Showbread). Each day,
we ask for our daily bread -- our Rehma from God -- so we have the strength,
love, courage, and direction to follow Him.
Now we are under the blood
with a clear conscience, full of the Spirit and nourished by the Word.
With all this, we stand with holy hands lifted up and offer up praise
and thanksgiving to the Creator of Heaven and Earth (OT: Altar of
Incense). We use the voice and language God gives us to declare his
Now comes the greatest privilege of all: entering
into the very presence of God (OT: the Holy of Holies). The veil separating
us was torn down when Jesus died on the Cross. So now, all adopted sons and
daughters of God (NT: Believers in Christ) may boldly enter the throne room
to come before Abba and spend time with Him each day. Communing with God is
our sole goal and purpose here as He answers our personal petitions, enjoys
our worship, and gives us clarity on what He wants us to do with our
Praying according to the Temple (Tabernacle) pattern is based on the oldest
ordained pattern of public worship originally given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. This
pattern continued through David and Solomon, culminated in Jesus Christ, and
today we are the Lord's Temple.
Below is a devotional review of the reality of the Temple pattern in Scripture.
To begin understanding this pattern of priestly prayer, simply
pray the following out loud:
I thank you Lord that you live in the real and
original temple in Heaven, that you gave your people the Tabernacle worship
pattern through Moses, and you dwelt among the Israelites in that Tabernacle.
And thank you, Lord, that you remind us of the importance of your ordained
pattern of worship throughout scripture.
You commanded Israel through
Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. And
you shall make it according to all that I show you, the pattern of the
tabernacle of dwelling and the pattern of all the furniture of it.”
Exodus 25:8-9; Hebrews
8:1-2 & 10:1
You spoke through David, “let
us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it during
the days of Saul.”
1 Chronicles 13:3
You built a magnificent
temple through Solomon.
“Behold, I am about to build
a house for the Name of the Lord my God, dedicated to Him for the burning of
incense of sweet spices before Him, for the continual showbread, and for the
burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, New Moons, and on the
solemn feasts of the Lord our God, as ordained forever for Israel.”
2 Chronicles 2:4
Later, Jesus Christ
literally was God who tabernacled in the flesh among us.
“And the Word
became flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, such glory as an only
begotten son receives from his father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14; Isaiah 40:5.
Jesus literally was the first Temple in human form.
“Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise
it up again.” (speaking of himself as the temple of God)
Paul told us we
are Your Temple.
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who
lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your
own, you were bought with a price. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him
in your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
He taught us to keep Your
“What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For
we are the temple of the living God, even as God said, I will dwell in and
with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be
their God, and they shall be My people.”
2 Corinthians 6:16; Exodus
25:8, 29:45; Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 31:1; Ezekiel 37:27.
and he taught us that all Christians as the Church are the
“Do you not discern and understand that you are God's temple,” (His
sanctuary), “and that God's Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you?”
If anyone does hurt to God's temple or corrupts it,” (with false doctrines), “or
destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death
and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy and that [temple] you
are.” 1 Cor 3:16-17
(You: the believing church and the individual believers)
Jesus spoke of living in us as Temples.
“Jesus answered, If a person really loves Me, he will keep My word,” (obey My
teaching), “and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our
home with him.” (Home: abode or special dwelling place, tabernacle)
Why? Because the Temple
pattern exists permanently in Heaven.
“For Christ” (the
Messiah), “has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, but a copy
and pattern and type of the true one. He has entered into heaven itself, now
to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf.”
Help me to understand how to
worship you in your temple, my body. I do not want spend my whole life stuck in
the outer court, missing much of your ordained pattern, and suffer for it as
David's people did.
“For because you bore it not [as God directed] at the first, the Lord our God
broke forth upon us – because we did not seek Him in the way He ordained.”
1Ch 15:13; Num. 1:50; I
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Resources page for documents that
will guide you through the actual