‘Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.’ (John 4:21-23)
For in these days the Lord would refocus us on His engine room of the church (the ecclesia), that is each of His believers who are the new temple of God, and our homes which are the houses of God, and both the house of prayer for all nations….in the knowledge that those who believe on Jesus Christ as the Lord and God, are of the royal priesthood of believer. The veil is torn, the old temple has past, each of us can enter in to the very presence of God through Jesus Christ and wait on Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to pave the way for all who believe on Him to enter in to the very presence of God. He is the gate to God, and as we enter through Him, we not only have access to the throne of God, but receive the spirit of adoption to become one in His family as sons and daughter, brothers and sisters. No longer do we need a priest to intercede for us, being that connection to above, nor can they truly do so. For our Father in heaven made a way for each of us to connect directly to Him, and be royal priests who can minister to Him. This is the new covenant, and is not just does His design, but our destiny and THE way.
As He showed us in Scripture, not only did He open the door, but as we believe on Him as Lord and Saviour, He made His home in us by His Spirit, and so we became living temples of God. No longer do we go to the temple, or the church, to pray in the presence of God, but we do so in the secret place of our heart, in the prayer closet of God. We can pray wherever we are, for His is in us, and omnipresent (everywhere present). We are to ascend this mountain of the Lord, rising up in the spiritual realm in our prayer and maturity of God, in sacrifice and humility, to be near to Him, closer than a breath to His heart. From this place of His manifest presence we can intercede at the right-hand of God in Jesus Christ. As we do so, looking not from earth to heaven, pleading for our needs; rather looking with the eyes of Jesus Christ, from heaven to earth, praying as He sees with the Prophet’s eyes, and by faith.
No wonder Moses desired that we would all prophesy, and God’s heart is for us to see Him face-to-face. This is the heart of Christ for all who follow Him, to have this direct face to face intimate relationship with Him, praying and interceding with Him in our living temples, and in our homes. The early church understood it, and thus gathered from home to home, and were encouraged to pray continually (not just at the ‘hour of prayer’). While for an early season the Jewish Christians would still go to the temple as well, that would end as the Jewish leader and Herod rose up to kill and persecute them, causing many to disperse from the place of the Temple (Jerusalem). Of course the Gentile Christian were not bound to these past traditions, and freely prayed and worshiped in homes and in their hearts. To worship God in all His fullness, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, this is our calling.
Over time political and religious spirits crept in to the church, and sort to once again create separation between the believers and God, sometimes actively placing the leader and the church between themselves and believers, and so looking to recreate the Old Covenant. Often this occurred as administrative efficiencies seemed to demand systems for managing larger groups of people, and as church leadership models mimicked more of the world. But this was torn apart by Christ, and His church built on the personal revelation He is the Anointed One, and the knowledge that He is Immanuel (God-with-us). Only He is truly the head of the global congregation of believers, and this gathering (ecclesia) to Him is in the heavenlies, and on earth, and from this position of faith we understand we govern with Him, and carry His authority in prayer and intercession, as we pray from His heart.
Practically the church will come together in larger gatherings, and there are those called to help organise as such, equip believers, help lead us in to a more intimate relationship in the Lord, and to serve and shepherd with Christ the Lord’s people. However, the principal relationship stays the same, that is personally between each believer and the Father through Christ Jesus, and then on to their neighbours. This is the House of Prayer for All Nation. The Old Testament temple foreshadowing who we are to become, and while perhaps it will be rebuilt as a sign of the Lord Jesus’ soon return, we must run from the ‘church’ and ‘temple’ structures that are an administration of man, which seek to usurp our direct relationship with God, bring us in to a place of complacency and accountability in our relationship with Christ, and, in the worst cases, turn our worship away from God to the dark forces that seek to promote themselves, and take the glory.
During these days of the global pandemic of COVID-19 the Lord is working His good purposes, and scattering us from the ‘church’ of man, and back in to the home, where we can restore our communion with Him. Here we can choose to go deeper in the Lord, and return to ‘my home, the house of God’. As we re-emerge, remember our Lord Jesus Christ is the King and Head of the church, and by His Spirit He leads us all to Him and for His Kingdom. While some may gather with other homes, or in larger gathering, remember well the relationship you have with the Lord, and stay first connected to Him, and do not forsake this first love. Be alert to any leader, church, or gathering that seeks to place themselves between you and Christ, and gradually even replace Him as being the central place of your prayers and heart. He is the one you serve out here where He has called us to shine His light, to flow freely in the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, and to intercede with Him as He brings heaven to earth, and prepares for His return.
For your prayerful consideration with Jesus Christ.
Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:38)
‘Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?’ (1 Corinthians 6:19)
‘And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ [n]doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.'(Acts 2:40-45)
‘And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.’ (Acts 4:31)
‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)
‘Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison’. (Acts 8:1-3)
‘So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.'(Acts 12:12) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. (Romans 16:5)
Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. (Colossians 4:15)
All Bible references from NKJV version.