The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations – Part 7


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The Spiritual Significance of Biblical Locations

Part 7 – Where Is The Temple of God? Where and What Are The Cherubim In The Temple?

 

2Sa 22:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

1Ki 6:17 And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.

Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Num 7:89 And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.

1Sa 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

2Sa 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Introduction

God hears our cries “out of His temple”. His house “is the temple”. His temple and His throne are “in heaven”. God speaks to us “from off the mercy seat… from between the two cherubims”, and we are told that He “dwells between the cherubims” which are within “the temple of God… in heaven”. The ark of his covenant is in His temple.

With all of this in mind, the apostle Paul was shown that God’s true house, His true temple, is nothing other than His people in whom He dwells. Here is what we are told:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 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.

2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 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.

For many of us it seems only yesterday that we, along with so many others, were anxiously awaiting the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem as a necessary event that must take place before Christ could come back to this earth. I for one remember well quoting:

Amo 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

This prophecy is repeated by James at the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15:

Act 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

How it is concluded that this prophecy proves that a physical temple has to be built before Christ can return is a mystery to me now, but I can remember well when that was not even a question in my mind.

Will a physical temple be built in Jerusalem before Christ returns? Time will reveal whether that will happen, but even if it is built, that will not make it the dwelling place of God, any more that the re-establishing of the state of Israel has served to make the outward Jews who are there today the true Jew in whom Christ dwells. As hated as these words are by both Jews and Christians, they are still inspired of the holy spirit and are the Truth of God:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Can an outward Jew be a Jew? Only if he acknowledges that being an outward Jew is in and of itself “but dung” in the mind of God:

Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

In Christ a physical pedigree is of no value whatsoever, and being of the physical nation of Israel is now of no advantage at all. The chapter break between Romans 2:29 and Rom 3:1 has served to keep the Truth of Rom 2:28-29 hidden from the masses of Christians. This is no doubt by God’s design simply because He has come to make blind those who think they see (John 9:39). Nevertheless, Rom 3:1 is not a contradiction of the previous two verses and must be understood in the context of the revelation of the previous two verses, or it will be taken to mean the exact opposite of Roman 2:28-29.

Let’s put these verses all together without the chapter break and see what the holy spirit reveals:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Rom 3:1 What advantage then hath the [inward, Rom 2:29] Jew? or what profit is there of [spiritual, Rev 2:29] circumcision?
Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Our lack of faith in what God says does not change His Truth. The words ‘were committed’ in Rom 3:2 are also in the aorist tense and are a simply statement of fact, that the oracles of God are committed to those who are Jews and who are circumcised. Our lack of faith in Rom 2:28-29 will not change the Truth revealed there, any more than a physical Gentile who was disgruntled with the fact that God had a special physical relationship with physical Israel before Christ would change that fact. The phrase “were committed” is in the aorist tense because of the preceding statement that outward Jews are not Jews at all, and outward circumcision is not circumcision at all. Nevertheless the oracles of God are still committed to spiritual Jews, who are now spiritually circumcised. The phrase “did not believe” is also in the aorist tense and is again a simple statement of fact without any regard to time. “What if some do not believe what Paul has just revealed to us?” If we refuse to believe that an outward Jew is not a Jew or that physical circumcision is not counted as circumcision by God, will our denial of these Truths change the fact that they are yet True? The answer is:

Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Those who are “The [true] temple of God” are diligently attentive and zealous to be obedient to the Words of God.

Ecc 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

We “keep [our] foot when [we] go to house of God”, when we fear and tremble before Christ’s words concerning how we are to conduct ourselves within “the house of God”. We cannot do this unless we first confess that we are His temple:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 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.

“The house of God [is] the temple of God” and the temple of God is “the church which is His body”.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of [the] Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

So the body in which Christ dwells is also the temple in which He dwells. That explains why we are called “His flesh and His bones”, which continue to “fill up that which is behind of His afflictions:

Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Christ loves us as His flesh and His bones because we are His bride who He loves as He loves Himself.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

God speaks “from between the cherubim’s”

How does God speak to His people? Does he do so only through the written word on a one-on-one basis? Or does God witness to His people “by the church”? Here is the short answer to this question for all who have eyes that see and ears that hear:

Exo 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
Exo 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
Exo 25:19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
Exo 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
Exo 25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
Exo 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

God speaks to His people “from between the cherubims”. We see this phrase repeated throughout the Old Testament:

1Sa 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

2Sa 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

2Ki 19:15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.

1Ch 13:6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.

Psa 80:1 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Psa 99:1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

Isa 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

Eze 10:2 And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.

Eze 10:6 And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.

That “fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims” is the word of God:

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

So the fire that is “between the cherubims” and the “commun[ing] with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims” is one and the same “My Words in thy mouth fire“.

Here is our final verse containing this phrase:

Eze 10:7 And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim’s unto the fire that was between the cherubims,and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.

Compared with Exo 25:22:

Exo 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

‘All [the] things which [God] will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel’ are all His Words which will devour all the wood, hay and stubble within His people. The apostle Paul reiterates this Truth in the New Testament:

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is [the doctrine and words of] Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire [“from between the cherubims”] ; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Where does God dwell? He “dwells between the cherubims”. He dwells in His temple, and “ye are the temple of God… the spirit of God dwells in you”!

Since you and I are now His people, how does God now communicate Himself and His doctrine to His people? The fact is that He still speaks to His people “from between the cherubims”. Here is how the apostle Paul summarizes all of these verses which tells us that God speaks to us from between the cherubim, from out of His temple which is the abode of His spirit which “dwells in you”:

Eph 3:8 Unto me [You and me – Mat 4:4; Eph 3:10], who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see [speak to “all men”] what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church [the cherubim – Rev 5:8-10] the manifold wisdom of God,

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you [not just Paul].

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Notice the description of these four beasts in the book of Revelation:

Rev 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Rev 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

These are the very same four beasts of Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10:

Eze 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

When we put this verse together with what we read in Ezekiel 10 we discover that the definition of “a cherub”, when no other form is specified is to be understood as “an ox”. Notice what we are told of these very same creatures in Ezekiel 10:

Eze 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Here in Ezekiel 10, “the face of an ox” is replaced with “the face of a cherub”, and yet the very next verse tells us this is the very same creature seen in Ezekiel 1:

Eze 10:15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

Eze 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

“The heavens were opened”, and Ezekiel saw this vision of the throne of God. Our heavens are being opened, and we are made to know that these four creatures are the whole body of one Christ. In Ezekiel each creature has all four faces, whereas in Revelation each creature is distinguished with just one of these four faces. What this tells us is that we are all within each other, just as we are all within Christ and His Father, and just as the seven churches are separate churches yet they are all within all of us, and the message to each church is also addressed to “He that hath an ear”:

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

In conclusion, here is how Christ Himself tells us that He is still speaking to His people “from between the cherbims”. Every time you see the words ‘thy’ or ‘thee’ or ‘church’, just substitute the word ‘cherubim’, those who “have [been] redeemed… to God by [Christ’s] blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev 5:9), and you will see how God is still speaking to His people “from between the cherubims”:

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Now let’s reword these verses to make them accord with the truth revealed to us in Rev 5:9 by the four living creatures, the four cherubims:

Mat 18:15 Moreover if [a cherubim’s] brother shall trespass against [a cherubim], go and tell him his fault between [the cherubim] and him alone: if he shall hear [the cherubim], [the cherubim] hast gained [the cherubim’s] brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear [the cherubim], then take with [the cherubim] one or two more [cherubims], that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear [those cherubims], tell it unto the church [the cherubims]: but if he neglect to hear the church [the cherubims], let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

It is of utmost significance to know that God’s true ‘cherubims’ never speak or even “think above that which is written”:

1Co 4:6 Now these things, brothers, I applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us ye might learn not to think above that which is written, so that ye may not be puffed up, one over the one against the other. (ACV)

When we are careful to never “think above what is written”, it is not me, but Christ who continues to reiterate and strengthen the safety that is in these words “which [are] written” in Mat 18:15-17 and, which keep His cherubim from being defiled with the diseases of Egypt (Exo 15:26). To His cherubim, who have been redeemed to God out of every nation Christ continues:

Mat 18:18 Verily, I am saying to you, Whatsoever you [cherubim] should be binding on the earth shall be those things having been bound in the heavens, and whatsoever you [cherubim] should be loosing on the earth shall be those loose in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again, verily, I am saying to you that, if ever two of you [cherubim] should be agreeing on the earth concerning any matter, whatsoever it is they [the cherubim] should be requesting shall be coming to them [the cherubim] from My Father Who is in the heavens.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three [cherubim] are, gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them [the cherubim].(CLV)

This is such an important doctrine of Christ, that He reaffirmed it to His ‘cherubims’, His disciples, immediately after His resurrection as it is recorded for us in:

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you [His cherubim].
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them [His cherubim], and saith unto them [His cherubim], Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Joh 20:23 Whose soever sins ye [cherubim] remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye [cherubim] retain, they are retained.

I pray that all these verses, “line upon line, and precept upon precept” have served to demonstrate that God is still speaking to His people “from between the cherubims”. He does not speak ‘from a single cherubim’, as some so emphatically affirm. Christ nowhere instructs His cherubim to operate independent of His other cherubim. Christ wants us to know that He has ordained that we are never, ever to so much as “think above that which is written” and that He has ordained for every word to be established only in the mouth of two or three witnesses, before we seek a multitude of counselors by telling it to the church. If after we “tell it to the church”, which is a hated doctrine of Christ if ever there has been one, then we are to let that brother or sister be to us as a heathen man and a publican if there is no repentance. To what end? Do we put a brother or sister out of our fellowship to humiliate them and to feel superior? No, of course not! Every true ‘cherubim’, every true disciple of Christ, knows that it is he himself who is ‘chief of sinners’, and he is humbled that Christ has seen fit to forgive him his unpayable debt. This is the reason why those who tremble at the Word of God refuse to allow a heathen man and a publican and a heretic into his spiritual house:

1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

“When you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ”. “The power of our Lord Jesus Christ” is His Words in His cherubim, who are “Jesus of Nazareth” (Act 22:8) What a loving heavenly Father we have! If indeed He and His Son are living and dwelling within us, we too, will be the first to “forgive from the heart” (Mat 18:35) a repentant brother or sister who has been brought by the dragging of the holy spirit “to the church” by whom they are made to see themselves, and to know they have sinned grievously and have been brought to repentance and to seek the forgiveness of Christ’s cherubim, His true disciples, by whom He had earlier spoken to them.

If ever we fail to follow Christ’s instructions here in Matthew 18, this is what we are solemnly warned:

Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? [Mat 18:15-17]
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

We will close this study on the location of God’s temple and His cherubim with Christ’s demonstration of how His true disciples react when our forgiveness is indeed “from the heart. This is the spirit that is in us when Christ and His Father abide within us, this is how God has welcomed us back when we have repented and sought His forgiveness, and this is how you and I will welcome back any repentant brother or sister:

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luk 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

That is the spirit that is in the temple of God, which is within all in whom Christ dwells. That is the repentant and forgiving spirit which is within all in whom the fire of the Word of God has performed its purifying work.

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