Sunday, January 20, 2013

ARE the Temple, or IN the Temple?

I have a misunderstanding: in REV. 7:3-8 are shown the 144,000 , they are not seen in the temple, maybe because they themselves are the Temple (spiritual)
then, the Great Crowd is seen "worship him day and night in his temple" v15
I know that in the old the priests were (literally) serving God in Temple (that temple was of stones)
in spirit the Temple are exactly the 144,000 ones (living stones) now the Great Crowd is serving IN "his temple"
my misunderstanding: how can the Temple(the great crowd) serve God in his temple(of living stones, 144,000) ?
thank you for your time and effort.

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel."
 "I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence."

Not all the truth is given in a few Bible verses, but the truth is constructed by means of all scripture.
This compares to the pieces of a puzzle. Rev.7:3-8 are not all the pieces which describe the 144000.
In fact, the entire scroll of Revelation is needed to describe them (the “wheat”). This scroll also includes descriptions of the antithesis of the 144000….those who do not prove faithful (the “weeds”).

Rev.7:3-8 is not highlighting the Temple aspect of the 144000. It is teaching here, a different facet of their attributes.
Here we are being told that these are spiritual Jews (Rom.2:28,29; Gal.3:29; Rom.9:8) chosen to be in covenant with God for the purpose of a holy priesthood (Rev.5:9,10; 1Pet.2:5,10,9; Isa.43:21,10). It also tells us that not all those chosen (the tribes of Israel) win the prize of being “sealed” (Rev.7:4; 14:3; 2Cor.1:21-22).
If you wish to learn the "Temple" aspect of the 144000, other verses are available.
(Eph.2:20-22; 1Cor.3:16; 1Pet.2:5)

You have asked;
“How can the Temple (the great crowd) serve God in his temple (of living stones, 144,000) ?”

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking-
How can the Great Crowd serve IN the Temple, if they ARE the Temple?
Is my understanding of your question correct? I hope so, because this is what I will answer. If this is not what you mean, please follow up with clarification.

I am perplexed that this confuses you, because all similar cases are expressed the same way.
For example,
If you were to see an battalion of soldiers,
Are they themselves “the army”, or are they serving “in” the army?

Of course, just a single soldier is not the entire army. But if only one soldier of a battalion were to enter a town first; it would not be wrong for someone to declare, "The army is here". So too; each single soldier is not considered “the Army”, but only a member of it, serving within the concept of a whole army to which they belong.
These concepts apply to any member of any group. So too, the Temple and it's members. 
Each single priest could be considered “the Temple”, but is really only a part of it, serving within the concept of a whole Temple priesthood, to which they belong.
Each priest is considered a representative of that Temple, and is serving as a priest within that whole Temple service (Rev.22:3).
Just as an "army" is not a physical building with a static location in which all soldiers must occupy in order to be "IN the army";
so too this spiritual Temple is a concept...a tent... that moves with God's spirit. That spirit is dwelling within each heart of the 144000. God’s spirit resides within each one of them, and in this way, they are God’s Temple. (1Cor.3:16; 6:19; Rom.8:9,11; Eph.2:22; Heb.3:6)
Another example-
If you have a Chorus...The chorus is not one member, but all. Each member is “IN the Chorus”…but there is no tangible “Chorus” that each member has to enter, as if it were a physical box or location.
The singers comprise the Chorus, as the soldiers comprise the army, as the Sons of God comprise the Temple.
Yet any individual member of all such groups, serve within that general group.
This is why a different aspect of the 144000 even tells us that there is no Temple
See Rev.21:22:
“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

This contributes more pieces to our full picture of understanding about the 144000.
Here The Father and Jesus are the Temple! Does this mean that the 144000 are God and Christ?
Does this mean that the Great Crowd from the Great Tribulation are inside of God and Christ….serving inside the 144000, who are also God and Christ?
As you can see, we can get very confused if we view things physically.

If we combine these scriptural pieces of insight, and logically compare these illustrations to other common reasoning;
We understand that the 144000 ARE the Temple (ie. The soldiers ARE the army)…individual priests serve IN the Temple (individual soldiers serve IN the army).  (1Cor.12:27; Rom.12:5)

As the commands of the army Officer are obeyed within the mind and actions of each soldier- the army itself, must also be within each soldier. 

At Rev.21:22 we learn that the 144000 are a city in which God dwells in spirit. Each of the 144000 have within them a heart in which the spirit of God dwells Eze.36:26; 2Cor.3:3; Jer.24:7; 31:33; Eze.11:19; Rom.2:29 (This is what qualifies them as belonging to the Temple).

Try to remember also, that this is all spiritual. As such- time, space, and physical laws, do not apply.
The physical realm is very limited in comparison. Even in the physical realm, we have seen that more than one reality can exist at the same time, if we are comparing a group to it's individual members. So much more so, in the spiritual realm.
Revelation's descriptions of the 144000 are nothing more than illustrations, for physical minds to be granted a partial glimpse, at grasping mentally a concept that is in reality, beyond human thinking (1Cor.2:9; John17:21,22,23,26)

So your original question was:
"How can the Temple (the great crowd) serve God in his temple (of living stones, 144,000) ?"
To use our illustration, it could be asked in this way:
"How can a battalion serve in the army they belong to?"
Hopefully you can see that it is logical for a group to serve within the larger group which they belong to.
The "Great Crowd" remnant of priests who come through the Great Tribulation at the end of this system (Rev.7:14), serve within the same Temple arrangement that all of it's members do (Rev.20:6; 22:3).
No one else is permitted to serve within, but the priests (Num.18:7; 3:10; 2Chron.23:6; Eze.44:9) (Heb.8:5; Col.2:17; Eze.43:10-12). When others enter the Temple, or serve as priests (Eze.44:6-9; 2Chron.13:9) God considers that a "disgusting thing, standing in the Holy Place"/Temple (Mark13:14; Matt.24:15) (
That Temple is not physical, but is an arrangement of priests who slave for God's purpose, to reconcile mankind to Himself (2Cor.5:20; Mal.2:7; Rev.22:3).
When New Jerusalem is inaugurated in heaven (just previous to it's descending to earth- Rev.21:2); the Great Crowd (the remaining ones of the woman's seed- Rev.12:17) will join the previously sealed  priests in heaven (1Thess.4:17), to complete the Holy City as it's "capstone" (Zech.4:7). This is the last stone ("remnant"/"Great Crowd") to be placed into the Temple (1Pet.2:5; 2Cor.5:1; Eph.2:21; Rev.7:9,10,13,14,15,16,17).

I hope this answers your question. If not, please let me know.
Love in Christ,

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