Have we considered the question, “What is the temple of God?”
The temple of God is the place where God lives. It is a place that is set-apart as special, a place of worship and prayer, a place dedicated to Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God, the Mighty One of Israel].
Yahuwah Elohim, who is the Creator of all things, dwells in a place of glory, honour, and reverence.
However, the moment we become a Born-Again Believer in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], the Bible teaches us that Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], by His Holy Spirit, begins to dwell within our person, within our body:
“…your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you (1Corinthians 6:19a)
“…ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2Corinthians 6:16b)
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1Corinthians 3:16)
As these Scriptures teach us, when we become Born-Again Believers in Yahushua Messiah, our body becomes a very special place! By God’s precious Holy Spirit, He comes to us to dwell within us, and thus our body becomes the temple of the Living God!
As Believers in Yahushua Messiah, our Heavenly Father desires that we begin to understand the great importance of what His dwelling place is to be, and how to maintain it.
Why? Because the temple of the Living God, by His Holy Spirit, is now our own amazing and beautiful body! Let’s consider our body.
A Treasure Chest
First of all, our body has been prepared to be as a ‘treasure chest’ for a most precious treasure, as the apostle Paul explains:
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2Corinthians 4:6-7)
As we can see from these verses, once we are Born-Again, our body [this earthen vessel] now holds the great treasure of the Light [the truth] of the knowledge of the glory of Yahuwah [the LORD] through Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]!
But there’s more!
Our body also contains our spirit and soul. Our body, which is so distinctive and so valuable, is beyond priceless! Each part of our being — our spirit, soul, and body — is precious and unique.
There is something even eternal about our entire being (Ecclesiastes 3:11). And, according to 1Thessalonians 5:23, our whole spirit, soul, and body are to be carefully preserved!
Each person is a fearfully and wonderfully made creation, created in the image of God (Psalms 139:14; Genesis 1:27)! Yahuwah knit together each and every part of us in our mother’s womb, and He was satisfied with each one of us from the moment of our birth.
Being Born-Again – The Remarkable New Birth
Consider how it happens that our body becomes the temple of the Living God.
When someone first begins to genuinely repent of their sins, and obey the truth of Messiah Yahushua’s [Christ Jesus’] Words, by giving their heart and life to Yahushua, then something amazing happens. That person becomes converted, or Born-Again — whereby Yahushua Himself becomes birthed within that person!
- [If being Born-Again has not yet happened to you, see the brief article: Good News.]
At that moment, when the New Birth occurs in our life, so many remarkable and wondrous things happen to us! There is even a great joyous celebration in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:7).
One of the major and wondrous facts about our Born-Again conversion is the profound truth that our body becomes the Temple of the Living God, at the very moment of our New Birth (2Corinthians 6:16).
At the moment of our New Birth, our spirit becomes alive in Yahushua Messiah [the One who is alive for evermore], and we are joined unto Him:
And when I saw Him (Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]), I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
But he that is joined unto the Master [Yahushua] is one spirit. (1Corinthians 6:17)
As these verses teach us, Yahushua is alive for evermore! When our spirit is joined unto Him, then we become Born-Again! Our spirit becomes clothed with the beautiful robe of Yahushua’s righteousness and the garment of salvation. This consequently beautifies our soul, which is exceedingly precious to God (Isaiah 61:10; Psalms 49:6- 9).
At the moment of our New Birth, our soul, which is so priceless, becomes beautiful, as we begin to be clothed with the beauty of holiness. Little by little, we become partakers of the divine nature by putting on the wonderful ‘fruits of the Spirit’ — humility, yieldedness, honour, mercy, kindness, obedience, patience, forgiveness, and love (Psalms 96:9; 1Peter 5:5; Proverbs 31:25; Colossians 3:12-14; Galatians 5:22-23).
And then finally, yet equally significant, at the moment of our New Birth, God’s Holy Spirit indwells our splendid body. Yahuwah has prepared everyone’s body to be a potential dwelling place for His Holy Spirit. However, when someone becomes Born-Again, their body is suddenly, freshly made beautiful because it now becomes the Temple of the Living God!
At the New Birth, our body is set-apart as special, unique, and honourable because it is now God’s holy dwelling place (1Corinthians 6:19, 20)! It is then that we truly know the joy of what the Psalmist declared: Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! (Psalms 84:4)
Glorify God In Your Body
Our entire being — spirit, soul, and body — is valuable, cherished, and beautiful. Those who belong to Yahuwah, through Yahushua Messiah dwelling within them, are most beloved! And Yahuwah desires that our beautiful and entire being become completely preserved blameless unto the coming of the Bridegroom (Colossians 3:12; 2Thessalonians 2:13; 1Thess 5:23).
As a Born-Again Believer, Father God loves us dearly and wants each one of us to glorify Him, not only in our spirit and our soul, but also, He wants us to glorify Him in our body:
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1Corinthians 6:19, 20)
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2Corinthians 6:16)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1Corinthians 3:16, 17)
As these Scripture verses teach us, the temple of the Living God is not a building made by men! The temple of the Living God is not a far-away place, in an unreachable part of the heavens!
Our body becomes the Temple of the Living God when we become a child of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God]! As children of Yahuwah, we are to glorify God with our priceless, marvelous body, because our body is now the sanctified, set apart as special, dwelling place of the Living God — the dwelling place of God’s precious Holy Spirit.
Our amazing body is to be set apart as a holy and valuable treasure, so that we may glorify God! We are to treat our body with the same respect that Yahuwah has for our body, which is now His temple.
The Creator of the Universe, Who is the High and Lofty One, and Who created all things (Isaiah 57:15; Colossians 1:13-17), He wants to dwell within our body, by His Holy Spirit. By the presence of His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, He is therefore able to be our guide, our comfort, our security, and our strength. This is positively awesome!
The Temple of God: the Great Significance
What is so significant about our bodies being the temple of the Living God? Much in every way!
Let’s look at what the Bible reveals regarding the temple of the Living God, because it is in the Bible where we find God’s truth!
In the Old Testament, when Moses was instructed to build the Tent of Meeting, the dwelling place of the Living God, this building was referred to with such names as:
- The House of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD thy God],
- The Sanctuary,
- The Tabernacle of Yahuwah [the LORD],
- The Tabernacle of the Congregation, and
- Thy Holy Temple.
It is even referred to as Yahuwah’s strength and glory. (See: Exodus 15:17; 23:19; 25:8,9; 29:42; Numbers 19:13; 1Kings 5:5; 8:11, 63; 1Chronicles 22:11; Psalms 79:1; 78:61; Psalms 26:8).
There were very specific directions given regarding the Tabernacle of Yahuwah, which apply to us today in a figure. Many particular things were required to even enter the Tabernacle because of its glorious nature! Much of the building, the furniture, the utensils, and the garments were of fine gold, silver, fine linen, and precious stones. These are a picture of the glory and the beauty that Father God purposed for His dwelling place (Exodus 28:2,43; 29:43-46)!
Since the Tabernacle was regarded as an extremely holy [set-apart] place, it should be no surprise that it was to be maintained in a very explicit condition. If the Tabernacle became defiled or polluted in the smallest way, the result was death (Leviticus 10:3-9; Numbers 4:15,20; 18:22,32; 19:13;).
Yahuwah gave this command and this description regarding His dwelling place:
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. (Lev 19:30)
For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. (Psa 96:4, 6)
As these Scriptures teach us, the Sanctuary [Yahuwah’s dwelling place], which is glorious and beautiful, was to be held in the highest regard and reverence! It was to be regarded and approached with a pureness, a humility, and a holiness that reflects the nature and glory of Yahuwah Himself, as well as His great Name. The Tabernacle was a solemn place of worship, and Yahuwah expected His dwelling place to be maintained with purity, honour, and great respect. [This is a glimpse of how we are to treat our own body!]
Yet if we are familiar at all with what happened to Yahuwah’s people over time, Yahuwah’s commands were eventually ignored and the Sanctuary was defiled, as Ezekiel stated very simply:
Therefore thus saith Yahuwah Elohim [the Lord GOD] … this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. (Ezekiel 23:35-38)
Consequences of Defiling God’s Temple
As we can see from the Scripture passages in Leviticus and Numbers, the consequences for defiling the temple of Yahuwah were very grave. Consider the example of the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu. They were killed instantly for defiling the Sanctuary (Leviticus 10:1-3). This is a very clear illustration of Father’s great disdain for defiling His dwelling place!
Such an incident certainly ought to cause us to agree with the apostle Paul:
Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not you. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off. (Romans 11:20b-22)
Yahuwah is very serious concerning His commands not to defile His dwelling place — the Tabernacle of Yahuwah Elohim, the Living God. Today, Yahuwah continues to maintain His instruction to not defile His dwelling place. Why? Because now, through Messiah, Father God has fulfilled His Word:
I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)
I will dwell in the midst of them forever. (Ezekiel 43:7,9)
By sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within each of His Born-Again, Believing-in-Yahushua-Messiah children, Yahuwah’s Temple is now the body of each one of His children. Therefore your body, Dear Believer, is the holy temple of the Living God!
And now, we can better understand the warning given in 1Corinthians 3:17 –
- If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are! (1Corinthians 3:17)
As this verse shows us, only harm and destruction will result from any defiling of our body. God is very serious in His warning. Defile means to ‘violate, pollute, spoil, corrupt, stain, or tarnish.’ If we are Believers in Yahushua Messiah, then to defile our bodies is in disobedience to Father’s Word, and therefore it is a sin.
Things that Defile the Body
We must understand that there are many things that can defile the body, whether a person is a Believer or not. Every person’s body is a potential dwelling place for the Living God. Therefore Yahuwah desires that every person maintain a pure and clean vessel for His presence.
It is very important for each person to know what can defile their body and to do everything possible to avoid defilements. Unfortunately the most common defilement is all forms of sexual sins, and the most common of these is fornication (see 1Thessalonians 4:3-7; 1Corinthians 6:9,10,18; Galatians 5:19-21; Luke 18:20; 1Timothy 1:8-11; Leviticus chapter 18.)
Other very common defilements are illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and gluttony. Additionally, piercing or cutting the skin, and having tattoos, is a form of body mutilation, and is certainly a defiling of the body.
Three defilements — fornication, cutting, or piercing, the skin, and tattoos — are clearly prohibited in the Scriptures:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:28)
… he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (1Corinthians 6:18b)
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor (1Thessalonians 4:3,4).
The consequences for mutilating the body through piercings/cuttings, tattoos, and for violating the body through fornication and sexual sins, are just as serious and devastating as any other defilement. Unfortunately, most of us are familiar with the consequences of having defiled our body in various ways.
Hospitals and rescue missions, as well as dark, hidden alley-ways, are full of people today who are reaping the consequences of having defiled their bodies in one way or another. We have all learned the hard way, that what we do in the natural realm affects us for years to come, and has a tremendous bearing on our spiritual condition.
There are many popular styles, behaviours, and customs that are clearly contrary to the Scriptures, which assuredly defile the body. When anyone indulges in practices that defile the body, that person is being disobedient to the Scriptures, which is the very definition of sin (1John 3:4). The Heavenly Father is grieved tremendously whenever we do anything to our body that defiles His dwelling place, which is His temple.
It is the hidden qualities within our heart that are of great value to our Heavenly Father. The inner characteristics of the heart — the beauty and excellence of holiness, a meek and lowly spirit — these are the adornments that will enhance our beauty, both inwardly and outwardly.
The outward mutilations of the body, and any sexual sins, regardless of their popularity, are defilements of the body. Such disobedience to the Scriptures can only result in God’s discipline and eventual judgment (Hosea 4:6).
The Father’s Restoration
Let me exclaim, however, the mercy of our Heavenly Father! He has created our bodies in such a way, that when we begin to repent of defiling ourselves, our amazing body begins to work at restoring itself!
If we have defiled our body through sexual sins or illegal drugs or tobacco or in any way, and especially through cuttings/piercings, tattoos, or fornication, it is often because of ignorance or because of deep hurts within our soul. If we will begin to ask Father for His forgiveness, His help and deliverance, then we will gain the healing we need. God wants to heal and restore each one of us, and He wants to bring us to a security and an understanding within ourselves — so that we would not want to do things that are harmful.
Yahuwah is a loving, devoted Daddy, and He can, by His Holy Spirit, heal the broken in heart, and bind up our wounds (Psalms 147:3).
The Holy Spirit’s mission is to guide us into the Way of truth, whereby we can discover the comfort of being a “Do-er” of the Scriptures. We gain much comfort from being obedient to Yahuwah’s Word, because we begin to discover Father’s cleansing for us — in spirit, soul, and body.
It is as we begin to turn away from sin and become cleansed, and begin to walk with Him in obedience, that we discover His peace that passes all understanding. The Holy Spirit is The Comforter, and we will know His comfort when we begin to walk in His Ways!
Yahuwah desires that we see ourselves as He sees us — the beautiful, awesome, and excellent creation that He made at our birth, our entire being — spirit, soul, and body! He loves each one of us, and He yearns for our obedience to His Word, in order that His protection may remain upon us.
May it be that each one of us, as a child of the Living God, will diligently learn for ourselves what the Bible says about how to keep our body clean [spiritually and physically], and free of defilements. May we begin to understand and respect this amazing vessel that Father has given each one of us — the ‘treasure chest’ of our body.
Abba Father has directed us to maintain a pure and holy body, that we may be a vessel unto honour, glory, and beauty, whereby He can dwell within our body — the Temple of the Living God!
- Adornments For The Bride — True and False: Jewelry, Piercings & Tattoos – The Scriptures describe two kinds of adornment — those of the True Bride, and those of the False Bride. Scripture reveals the relationship between jewelry, tattoos, and body piercings to idolatry and bondage
- The Wise and Foolish Virgins: Steps to Obtaining Wisdom – Scriptures reveal the qualities of Wisdom held by the Wise Virgins—and how we might gain these qualities
- Cremation vs. Burial for a Bible-Believer– Honouring the Body because each person is eternal.
- The Glorious Bride of Messiah – a look at the Bride’s inward glory and the profound effect it has on our desire to show honour and respect for our Bridegroom
- The Holy Spirit Will Guide You Into All Truth – learning three essential facts about the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed?
- The King’s Daughter: An Outward Reflection of An Inward Glory – the Outward reflects the Inward. Looks at the women’s clothing, as befitting the daughters of the King, and how our manner of dress should reflect who we are inwardly.
- Changing From Glory to Glory – the process of change we experience the moment our spiritual eyes become opened, and we begin to see God’s Light.
- Under His Wings I Shall Trust
- Sex Outside Marriage – The dangers of sexual defilement.
- Breaking our hedge (Defilement explained)
- What Makes Porn and Sexual Sin Different?
- The Pathway of Purity – discusses the commitment to walking in purity
- Standing Against the Midianites – A very brief post by Natan Lawrence about the sexual looseness and perversion in our society, rooted in the spirit of Midian
- Do Not Cross the Boundary