God’s Definitions – Part II: The House of God

Under the old covenant established in the exodus wilderness between God and the house of Israel, the Israelites built a tabernacle where the priests could enter under prescribed conditions to meet with God, to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, and to minister unto God.

This tabernacle was built of curtains, animal skins, and other materials which God detailed for its construction, and which the Israelites set up and disassembled as they traveled for over 400 years.

Ex. 25:8-9, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The sanctuary was patterned after the tabernacle!  Which tabernacle?

After his battles with the Philistines, about 445 years after the exodus from Egypt, King David expressed the desire to build a house for the Lord to honor Him for all that God had done for David.  God did not allow David to build that house, because David’s hands were bloody. (1 Chron. 22:8)  God allowed David to gather and store the supplies for the house of God, but it was given unto Solomon to order the actual construction. (1 Chron. 22:9ff)

The house of God, or the house of the Lord under the old covenant became the temple at Jerusalem.

1 Chron. 6:48, ” Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

 1 Chron. 9:26,  For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.

 1 Chron 22:19, Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

 2 Chron. 7:5, And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

 2 Chron. 36:7,  Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.”

 2 Chron. 36:18, And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.”

 2 Chron. 36:23, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.”

But just as the definition of the house of Israel changed under the new covenant (see Part I at the right), so did the definition and place of the house of God.

Most people miss this change because of the English words used in certain places in the English translations.  Let’s look at a key passage of scripture as translated in Young’s Literal Translation (YLT).  It is probably one of the most confused, or misunderstood passages in scripture because of the other references under the old covenant to the physical earthly temple in Jerusalem.  People assume it is speaking of the same temple in Jerusalem.

2 Sam. 7:1-2, ” And it cometh to pass, when the king sat in his house, and Jehovah hath given rest to him round about, from all his enemies, that the king saith unto Nathan the prophet, `See, I pray thee, I am dwelling in a house of cedars, and the ark of God is dwelling in the midst of the curtain.’

Nathan did not check with God first, but told David that he should do all that was in his heart since God was with him.  But, during the night God intervened, and gave Nathan another message for David.

2 Sam. 7:5-7, “`Go, and thou hast said unto My servant, unto David, Thus said Jehovah, Dost thou build for Me a house for My dwelling in?  for I have not dwelt in a house even from the day of My bringing up the sons of Israel out of Egypt, even unto this day, and am walking up and down in a tent and in a tabernacle.  During all [the time] that I have walked up and down among all the sons of Israel, a word have I spoken with one of the tribes of Israel which I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, `Why have ye not built to Me a house of cedars?”

If God had wanted a house, an earthly dwelling, he would have told the children of Israel to build one for Him.  But, He had not done so.

God rehearses for David in verses 8 – 11 how He had made David a leader of His people, Israel, had cut off his enemies from before him, had given Israel a place to rest, and built a house for David.  And, then we come to verse 12.

2 Sam. 7:12-16, ” `When thy days are full, and thou hast lain with thy fathers, then I have raised up thy seed after thee which goeth out from thy bowels, and have established his kingdom; 

13 He doth build a house for My Name, and I have established the throne of his kingdom unto the age. 

14 I am to him for a father, and he is to Me for a son; whom in his dealings perversely I have even reproved with a rod of men, and with strokes of the sons of Adam,

15 and My kindness doth not turn aside from him, as I turned it aside from Saul, whom I turned aside from before thee,

16 and stedfast [is] thy house and thy kingdom unto the age before thee, thy throne is established unto the age.'”

Most readers believe this passage of scripture refers to Solomon.  But, if we look at it carefully, we can tell that God is speaking of another son.

Look at “When thy days are full, and thou has lain with thy fathers”…and.. “I have raised up thy seed after thee.”   Surely, David’s son Solomon was living when David died.  So, raising up a seed after David dies is not referring to Solomon.

Vs. 14 speaks of the son of God.  Who is the son of God who would be reproved with the rod of men, and the strokes of the sons of Adam?  And, whose throne would be established forever?

Heb 1:5,  For to which of the messengers said He ever, `My Son thou art — I to-day have begotten thee?’ and again, `I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son?’ 

The son spoken of 2 Sam. chap. 7 is Christ, not Solomon.  This was a prophesy given to David of another house of God that would be established under Christ.  It was Christ who was going to suffer the strokes that were / are due for all of the sons of Adam, and who took on the sins of the world.

Is. 53:4-5, ” Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.;

Was it Solomon’s throne that would be established forever, or Christ’s?  Surely, we can say that it is Christ’s throne that is established forever.  Christ was going to build God’s eternal  and forever house, not Solomon.

2 Sam. 7:19.  And yet this [is] little in Thine eyes, Lord Jehovah, and Thou dost speak also concerning the house of Thy servant afar off; and this [is] the law of the Man, Lord Jehovah.”

2 Sam. 7:25, ” `And now, Jehovah God, the word which Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant, and concerning his house, establish unto the age, and do as Thou hast spoken;”

“Thy servant afar off” is not a reference to Solomon.  “The law of the Man” refers to the God’s command to the first Adam, and the promise made of the seed of the woman, the second Adam, the promised Messiah.  (Gen. 3:15, 1 Cor. 15:45-47)

The parallel verse is in 1 Chron. 17:17:

And this is small in Thine eyes, O God, and Thou speakest concerning the house of thy servant afar off, and hast seen me as a type of the man who is on high, O Jehovah God!”

David understood the eternal nature of the everlasting house of God, and the forever nature of the kingdom.  (Acts 2:30)  It therefore follows that an earthly house and an earthly kingdom was not being discussed in 2 Sam. 7.  Earthly, temporal kingdoms do not last forever.

Luke 1:32-33, 32 he shall be great, and Son of the Highest he shall be called, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages; and of his reign there shall be no end.’

Solomon’s house and Solomon’s kingdom were promised conditionally upon obedience to the Lord.  (I Chron. 28:6-9)  God commanded Solomon to build a house for a sanctuary, a holy place (1 Chron. 28:10)  which was a pattern of the heavenly things (Ex.25:9 ; 1 Chron. 28:19; Heb. 8:5; 9:23), where the priests of Israel would serve the Lord (1 Chron 28:21).

Most everyone believes that every reference to the house of the Lord, or the house of God is speaking of that earthly temple which stood in Jerusalem until A.D. 70.  Or, they misapply it to a future earthly temple they believe will be rebuilt someday at Jerusalem.

When taken in totality, the earthly temple has to be viewed as a temporary sanctuary, conditional upon the obedience of the Israelites, which was destined to fail.

The temple in Jerusalem was not the house which Christ would build.

Is. 9:7, To the increase of the princely power, And of peace, there is no end, On the throne of David, and on his kingdom, To establish it, and to support it, In judgment and in righteousness, Henceforth, even unto the age, The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts doth this.” (YLT)

Christ’s reign is everlasting, without end. (Psa. 145:13; Is. 45:17; Dan 4:3, 4:34; 7:14; 7:27; 2 Pet. 1:11)  Solomon’s reign and throne was temporal, and eventually ended in the division of the earthly kingdom of Israel.  Only a heavenly kingdom with a heavenly throne can be everlasting.

Zech. 6:12-13, ” And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:  13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”  (KJV)

John 2:19, ” Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (KJV)

Christ told the Judeans that the earthly temple would be destroyed, and that in three days He would raise it up.  He became the temple after His death on the cross, and His resurrection on the third day.

John 2:21-22,  But he spake of the temple of his body22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (KJV)

Acts 7:44-50, “  Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

47 But Solomon built him an house.

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

50 Hath not my hand made all these things?”  (KJV)

1 Cor 3:16, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”  (KJV)

1 Tim. 3:15, ” But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  (KJV)

1 Pet. 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  (KJV)

Heb 3:6, “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (KJV)

Heb. 10:21-21, ” By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21 And having an high priest over the house of God;”  (KJV)

Christ, the Messiah, is now the high priest over the spiritual, heavenly, eternal house of God.

Rev. 21:22, And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

There was a change under the new covenant in the nature and place of the house of the Lord.  It is now eternal, never to be torn down again, never to end.  It is now the church which Christ established.  It is now in heaven.  The third and final temple is a spiritual, heavenly place, not temporal, and not earthly.

As was foretold to David about 1,000 years earlier, the house of God was established by Christ at His crucifixion and resurrection.  Christ and our heavenly Father are the temple.  Those of us who are baptized into Christ are in that temple.

We are the royal priests (1 Pet. 2:9) ministering unto God, and our sacrifices are the fruit of our lips and our good works, praising His name continually. (1 Pet 2:5; Eph. 2:10, Heb 13:15, Titus 2:4)

And so, as Isaiah and Micah did prophesy that all nations would flow into the house of the Lord, today everyone from every nation that is baptized into Christ flows into that spiritual, heavenly house of God.  (Is. 2:2, and Micah 4:1-2.)

There is not going to be a third temple of the Lord erected in Jerusalem on this earth.  There is not going to be a profane animal, sacrificial worship re-established in Jerusalem.  That system was pronounced in judgment and called profane from the moment Christ was crucified, and was destroyed by God in A.D. 70 under the Roman siege of Jerusalem.

Christ told them, “your house is left unto you desolate“. (Matt. 23:38)  By those very words, He disassociated Himself and our heavenly Father from that earthly temple in Jerusalem.  The Judeans had rejected the Messiah, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and continued on in blasphemy.  Further signified by His statements in Rev. 2:9, and 3:9 calling them the synagogue of Satan.

All of those misguided people today who have supported the current state of Israel in anticipation of a future earthly temple supposedly to be built in Jerusalem, allegedly for the Lord, have been deceived by the Zionists and Jesuits, who plotted for their own gain to convince the world of a different gospel than Christ once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) ( See Part VI of It’s Not The End of The World)

All of those people who have sided with the state of Israel are standing against Christ and the word of God.  Whether they know it or not, they are supporting anti-Christs, and are in danger.

God’s providence has already prevented the Jews / Judeans from rebuilding that earthly temple three times.  See here , and here, and here.  As the third attempt was frustrated by the Islamic invasion in the 7th century A.D., I believe God is using the pagan temple of the Dome of the Rock to frustrate an even further atrocity contemplated by those who call themselves Jews today.  They have agreed to wait until the Messiah comes before they take any action against the Dome of the Rock.

As the Messiah has already come, they are going to have a long wait!

Sources:  Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) and the KJV.  All bold emphasis is mine.

Updated links April 20, 2023.

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