" If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are" (1Co 3:17)   "And He (Jesus) made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple..." (John 2:15)

Herod's House or  God's House 
When the apostle Paul wrote about destroying God's temple,  he had a lot of history running through his mind.  He was aware of the Mannaseh generation of his own countrymen who turned to idol worship and the shedding of innocent blood.  They had desecrated God's temple with idol altars and erected an asherah pole inside of God's temple and filled Jerusalem with innocent blood (2Ki 21:16).  Homosexual male prostitutes had even built houses in the house of the Lord (please read 2nd Kings, chapter 23:4-20) - not that different from the present time.  God summoned both the Assyrians and Babylonians to punish them, leaving but a remnant alive in captivity.  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

In 508 B.C., the world ruling Babylonians completely demolished God's temple, burning it to the ground (here we accept the chronology given in the Bible itself and set forth wonderfully by Philip Mauro in his book, "The Wonders of Bible Chronology").  Yet, not long thereafter we read of a festive occasion when king Belshazzer of Babylon ordered the gold cups, that were taken from the demolished temple in Jerusalem, to be brought out for the pleasure and enjoyment of his guests, his wives, and concubines (Dan 5:2-6).  That very night the writing was on the wall.  Babylon was conquered never to rise again, and her king was slain (Dan 5:30).  Here also, Paul warns both believers and non-believers regarding the partaking of Our Lord's cup in an un-worthy manner.  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

Next, around the year 167 B.C., after a remnant had returned from the exile and restored God's temple,  the world ruling Greeks by order of Antiochus Epiphanes, purposed to dedicate the temple in Jerusalem to Zeus Olympus, also known as Jupiter Olympus.  After erecting their abomination of desolation on the altar of God, they filled the sanctuary with riot and reveling while defiling themselves with harlots in the holy precinct of the temple (page 433, The Annals of the World by James Ussher, also see Maccabees).  They sacrificed forbidden swine, and put to death all who refused to eat.  Their savage cruelty against God's people was beyond horrific, resulting in the Maccabean uprising.  Shortly thereafter, Antiochus was struck with an incurable disease in his bowels and worms bred so fast in his body that whole streaks of his flesh sometimes dropped from him.  He died a slow horrible death after professing to all his friends that the cause of his calamity was that which he did in Jerusalem (page 444, The Annals of the World).  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

Then came King Herod.  Although he had been spending enormous amounts of money rebuilding and beautifying God's temple for about thirteen years prior to being informed by the Magi of the birth of King Jesus (John 2:20), we read that "he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him (Mat 2:3)".  What an incredible statement that is.  Hoping to kill King Jesus, God's temple, he put to death every male child up to two years old, including one of his very own.  Immediately thereafter, Herod was inflamed with a slow fire that burned up his bowels.  His thighs and limbs rotted and were full of worms until he died (Josephus;The Annals of the World, page 780, ).  I will leave the present day application to those who have an ear to hear.   If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

The apostle Paul did not live long enough to see the following, but he had absolutely no doubt about what was in store for his own generation.  Because of Christ's own words and those of the prophets, the apostles told believers, "here we have no enduring city" (Heb 13:14).  Daniel wrote about the destruction of both the city and the sanctuary (Dan 9:26).  Is it any wonder that early christians sold their houses and shared all things in common? So now we come to the Jewish nation,  who crucified our Lord Jesus Christ - God's temple,  for " I and the Father are one (John 10:30)". What a destruction they brought upon themselves in 70 A.D.  All the innocent blood ever shed could not gravely compare with His innocent blood, and so from "the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.., it shall be charged against this generation (Luke 11:51)".  Within forty years of His crucifixion (this generation), hundreds of thousands starved to death, many of whose bodies were thrown over the walls of Jerusalem and into the very place where previous generations had sacrificed their children, the valley of the son of Hinnom (Atlas of the Bible, Readers Digest page 202). There they laid as food for the wild animals and birds, with no one to bury them.  Possibly as many as three million perished during this siege and war of which Our Lord had prophesied " For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Mt. 24:21)", while the blood flowed like a river up to the bridals of the horses through the streets of Jerusalem (The Annals of the World, page 882) If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

Next we come to the Romans whom God used to punish those tenants who leased His vineyard and by killing The Heir, tried to seize the inheritance (Mt. 21:34).  They refused His mercy and grace and continued to trample upon the blood of Christ whom they had crucified, "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together (Mt. 24:28)".  After the siege and during the slaughter in 70 A.D., the Romans  burned the temple in Jerusalem on the very same month and day that the Babylonians had similarly done so in 508 B.C. ( page 879, "The Annals of the World" by Bishop James Ussher. He uses the chronology of the Egytian writer Ptolomy, 586 B.C.).  They erected their ensigns on the east gate of the temple and sacrificed to Jupitor there.  Then they ploughed Jerusalem to the ground, not a stone being left upon a stone (Mr 13:2).  Not long afterwards, they purposed to rid the earth of the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ - His Heavenly temple and new Jerusalem (Heb. 12:24) - but glory of glories, after about ten million were martyred, the Christians ended up possessing the very gates of their enemy, Rome (Ge. 24:60).   If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him...

Now the above mentioned are but a small historical sample to call all Christians to holy soberness regarding the shedding of innocent blood and the destruction of God's temple - their very own bodies.  If the statistics are correct, millions of Christians are using sorcerous and abortifacient products for family planning purposes.  Christian doctors and pharmacists are daily demolishing God's temple while multitudes of pastors refuse to blow the trumpet.  Like those before us, we are bringing certain destruction upon ourselves and our nation. 

Our dispensation is spiritual and demands spiritual understanding.  Their dispensation was natural.  They saw with their natural eyes but we see with the eyes of our heart.  They heard with their natural ears but we hear, if we have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches - what the Spirit says.  They smelled the aroma of incense, but we have been given discernment.  They had Abraham as their father but we have God as our Father- the Father of our spirits (Heb 12:9).  The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, he cannot understand them (1 Co 2:14).  God is Spirit, and though our spirits died in Adam, they are made alive again in Christ (1 Co 15:22).  They had God with them but we have God in us, His Spirit lives in us and so we are a new creation in Christ.  They were told by Jesus to flee both Jerusalem (the city of God's presence) and Judea when they saw the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place, and history records that the entire Church (remember Noah, also Lot and his family) left Jerusalem in 66 A.D and escaped to Pella, before the wrath of God destroyed Sodom (Jerusalem).  However, we know that the holy place of God is our own bodies.  Therefore, it is time for us who love and obey Christ to flee from our sins of contraception birth control, most all of which is abortifacient

Dear ones, "what you do unto the least of these, that you do unto me (Mat 25:45)".  If we continue to murder Jesus and call ourselves Christians, is that not blasphemy (Rom 2:24)? "The fruit of the womb is His reward (Psalm 127:3 ASV)". They are His.  They are as much His reward as we are.  He redeemed them along with us in His own blood and He purposed each precious one of them to be filled with all the fullness of God, until Christ is all and in all, and the whole earth is filled with His glory, which is Christ in you.  If that is not the goal of our salvation, then what salvation are we receiving?  Much of what we call Christian upon the earth today is herodian in nature, and it will suffer the same rejection as that which went before: "your house is left to you desolate (Mt. 23:38)".  Your house.  It was no longer God's house according to God's Measure (which is always Jesus Christ), much as it is today.  God will smash this mixture thing to pieces as He has done again and again throughout history, including those seven churches in Asia whom Paul said had abandoned him (2 Tim 1:15).  They very quickly gave up on the fullness of Christ in the believer, and were settling for a much wider path.  They refused His speaking from Heaven (Heb 12:25) seven times (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13, 22).  Surely this is the meaning of the destruction of the twin towers, the Protestants and the Catholics, Israel and Judah, the ten tribes and the two.  For "yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven".  The heaven side of things, the Church, the new Jerusalem (Heb 12:22-23), is now being shaken. 

It's not too late.  Even King Manasseh sought for God's mercy in captivity.  King Manasseh, who made his son pass through the fire to Molech and filled Jerusalem with innocent blood.  God granted him a true repentance, spared his life, and returned him as King over Jerusalem (2 Chron 33:9-13).  God Is Love.  His purpose in shaking us (Heb 12:27-28) is to fully conform us to His image and likeness - man who is love.  For just as Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and overturned the money changer's tables, He would now come into our hearts, His temple, and with His gentle whip do likewise, making us into a house of prayer (John 2:14-17). "For the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are (1Co 3:17 NAS)". That is His unique work, a work of Christ's Holy Spirit in us, "Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (Php 3:21).  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor 1:8)".

Solomon, Steven,  Paul, and all of the apostles knew that only Jesus could build God's house, fashioning it after Himself.  For unless the Lord (Jesus) build the house they labor in vain who try to build it (Ps 127:1).  Herod's house is again headed for destruction, destined for the fire - come out from among them My people.

"And there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7).  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Pe 3:14).  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 5:23)".

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The following is message #31 of 42 messages given by T. Austin Sparks during a meeting in Manila in 1964.  Printed copies are available free of charge by writing to :

Emmanuel Church, 12000 East 14th Street, Tulsa, OK 74128-5016  USA

We placed a link on the bottom of our home page to www.austin-sparks.net .  His earthly ministry continues full of spiritual blessings for the building up of Christ's body upon the earth with Christ as the sole object thereof. 

The Holy Spirit Came Especially for the Purpose of Creating a Spiritual Order of Things byT. Austin-Sparks