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Tuesday, January 8 2013
Where Is The House Of God?
"This is none other but the House of God, and this is the gate of heaven"
The English word "house" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word, hus, which meant to cover. The English word "husband" originated from the same root word. The King James translators of 1611 were apparently aware of it with their "1:9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband [see also The Birth Of The Bride]" (Ruth 1:9 KJV).
"House" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced bay-yith (usually translated into English as "beth" e.g. Bethlehem means house of bread), which can mean a simple family residence, but could also mean, as is used today in such terms as Government House, or House of Congress, a national representative capital. It could also mean (not coincidentally, since nations originate from families, with the head of the kin sometimes being designated as the King), a family of a patriarch. Consider this example of "the house of Jacob" which meant all who were descended from Jacob - at that time, Jacob had only a tent, not a "house," and those who were counted in Jacob's house (in the greater family sense) were his Egyptian-born grandchildren who Jacob had yet to meet.
"46:26 All the souls [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; 46:27 And the sons of Joseph [see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors], which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten." (Genesis 46:26-27 KJV)
Years before, Jacob had well-understood the meaning of "the house of God" at the time of his "stairway to heaven" dream. Jacob renamed the place where it happened "Bethel," which means House of God. There was no physical building there - just God in heaven and Jacob on Earth.
"28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake ... I will dwell in the House of the LORD for ever"
The Tabernacle, built by Moses according to the instructions given to him by the LORD, was known as "the house of God."
"6:48 Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle]. 6:49 But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded." (1 Chronicles 6:48-49 KJV)
The Temple in Jerusalem, which replaced the portable Tabernacle, was also known as "the house of the LORD" (i.e. see The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
"5:1 Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple]: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
Moses, in his time, and David and Solomon in their time centuries later, all knew that "the house of God" was more than just a tent or a stone and cedar building. The famous Twenty-third Psalm is very plain in regard to eternal life in "the house of the LORD for ever."
"23:1 A Psalm of David.
Although not as famous, the very next Psalm expounds how people will get to dwell in the house of the LORD for ever: "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."
"24:1 A Psalm of David.
King Solomon, even at the dedication of the Temple upon its completion, well understood "behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!" It was always about looking to where the LORD can be "found," and obeying Him.
"6:18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
"Behold the wicked abominations that they do here"
What happened when the Israelites made the Temple into a Sunday-keeping ("they worshipped the sun toward the east") house of idols ("behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about")?
"8:9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked [see What Does Wicked Mean?] abominations that they do here. 8:10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. 8:11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
The LORD had them taken away into exile. Their house of idols was destroyed.
"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets], until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 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. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
"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"
For the sake of the Messiah's coming, the people of Judah were permitted to return from Babylon after a seventy-year exile. They built and dedicated "this house of God."
"6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded [see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah], and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
Herod the Great (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Herod) later greatly built upon the Temple, so that by the time of the Messiah's coming, it was one of the greatest buildings in the Roman Empire. When the religionists defiled it, the Messiah drove them out, with the proclamation "Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." As we will read, the Messiah wasn't talking merely about a building - that He would later permit the Romans to reduce to rubble (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?), just as the Babylonians had done centuries earlier.
"2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise [see also Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?].
What was the Messiah talking about, if not the mere building?
Although it has come to mean a large, sometimes pretentious home, the English word mansion was derived from a Latin word, mansum, that simply means to dwell. Mansion is found once in the King James Version of the Bible to translate the original Greek word, pronounced moh-nay, which means to stay, or to reside. The Greek word is itself found only twice in the Holy Scriptures, both in the book of John; the KJV translates it once as mansions, once as abode.
As "mansions" (verse 1):
"14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
As "abode" (verse 23):
"14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God]. 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them [see Works Means Obedience], he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
As Moses and David saw it in their time, "the house of God, which is the church of the living God" is what the Scriptures were saying all along. If the people became corrupt, the house was no longer that of God because the people had made themselves not of God in it. The House of God, "which is the church of the living God," is built upon and stands by Truth.
"3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 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. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1 Timothy 3:14-16 KJV)
Where does the Truth come from? "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" And what happens it is defiled, physically or spiritually? "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
"3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
As explained at the beginning, "house" is also used as a word for a Capital or as a word for a family. The Kingdom of God will be both, the New Jerusalem and the children of God when they are "born again" (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?) by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the eternal Kingdom of God.
"21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Fact Finder: What is coming for those who build their own "houses" and call them by the Name of the LORD?
This Day In History, January 8
307: Jin Huidi, Emperor of China's Jin Dynasty, was assassinated by poisoning; he was succeeded by his son Jin Huaidi.
871: Alfred the Great led a West Saxon army against an invasion of Danelaw Vikings.
1297: In Monaco, Franceschino Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, sneaked into the Genoese-controlled fortress, let in his own soldiers, and established the Grimaldi dynasty.
1499: Louis XII of France, after a papal divorce, married Anne, Duchess of Brittany, to keep the duchy for the crown.
1598: Jews were expelled from Genoa, Italy.
1656: The oldest surviving commercial newspaper began, in Haarlem, Netherlands.
1681: The treaty of Radzin ended 5 years of war between the Turks (i.e. the Ottoman Empire; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) against Russia and Poland.
1745: England, Austria, Saxony and the Netherlands formed an alliance against Russia.
1780: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed 80,000 people and caused major damage to the city of Tabriz, Iran.
1806: Cape Colony, South Africa became a British colony.
1815: The battle of New Orleans between U.S. and British forces. It was the last battle of the War of 1812 (1812-1814), although the war was officially over when the battle was fought - a peace treaty had actually been signed in Europe 2 weeks earlier, but the news had not reached the armies of either side until up to a month later in some more remote areas.
1926: Abdul Aziz ibn Saud became the King of the Hejaz, which he announced would from then on be called Saudi Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson).
1941: Robert Baden-Powell died at age 84. The British army officer, hero of the South African (Boer) War of 1899-1902, was founder of the Boy Scouts.
1959: Charles de Gaulle became the first president of France's Fifth Republic. He took office for a second term on this day in 1966.
1998: A quote from a pro-cloning scientist: "You can't stop science. God made man in His own image. God intended for man to become one with God. ... Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God."