Our bodies, Our temples
Enough talk about history! This cyberTemple is to be a model for exploring the CURRENT Temples of Adonenu in existence today. One of the most significant statements in the Tenach is that a son of David will always be on the throne. Jews that do not believe in Yeshua as the Moshiach have trouble with this prophesy, because there is no earthly king on the the throne of Israel, and definitely not one from David's line. Thank goodness Yeshua is a son of David and King of the Jews. His 'throne' is in the Temple. Well the Temple (second) was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., so where is Yeshua? The Temple is you, and his throne is your heart (I Cor 3:16). Yeshua is king over you and your decisions and wants to be the leader you need him to be. Let him take control and you won't regret it!
On this page we are exploring the outer court of the Temple, in other words, our flesh. We have skin that protects us from germs and chemicals outside. Of course, I'm not just talking about the literal skin on our backs:) The outer court is also our carnal nature, and the closest thing in contact with the outside world--sinful influence. Will our 'skin' protect us from 'germs' or will it let them in? In the first and second Temples, the outer court was influenced by the outside world far too much. There were crooked money changers (the Law stated that the shekel, the currency of Israel, was only allowed in the Temple. The people who used Roman money elsewhere had to exchange currency to buy sacrificial animals, and the money changers usually took a handsome profit by taxing the exchange), unlawful animal keepers (who sold animals for more than they were worth), and wicked priests that hid idols in the hidden chambers of the Temple and practised terrible acts out of view of everyone else.
Let it not be so in your Temple. Let your 'skin' protect you from dangerous influence and let in only good spiritual food. But what if you have a cut? Thankful Adonenu provided us with an immune system. Our 'outer court' is the first line of defense against sin, but it isn't our only defense. Soon we will examine the Inner Court.
Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is one of the most exciting (and cold:) times of the year. I love camping, so I think this is one of the best ideas G-d's had since the burning bush. Obviously, haShem's an outdoorsman (I can just see him as a guest on a fishing show--they'd better bring extra strong nets, ha ha). I hope this year is warmer than last, because it can get quite chilly. Basically, we are to live in a "tent" or booth for seven days. Most agree that if some are too cold then they can try to spend the night outside on the first and last nights only, or just for a few hours after sunset if they are quite elderly. Whether you live in the sukkah for part of the week or the full seven days, Sukkot is a joyous time. We like to decorate our sukkah and dance and sing around it once it's first constructed. As MJ's, we can also use this time to remind us that we are merely sukkot on this world, wandering around in the desert until one day we will go home to our New Jerusalem and live in our permanent mansions, with a permanent Temple! Just as our 'outer courts' are just our skins that will one day pass away, our bodily "sukkahs" will, too. I also like to focuss on creating a "mental sukkah" around me while meditating, a sanctuary and place of safety to house the Ruach haKodesh who lives within me. Try it, it's rather tranquil.
The Color Bronze
The fixtures in the Outer Court (as well as the Inner Court) were made of bronze, a precious metal that had been purified to some extent, but was not redeemed.
This indicates something to us when we examine our bodies as Temples. Our 'flesh' as Paul calls it, is not completely pure and sanctified. Bronze is a less valuable metal, and one that is more quick to corrode. Similarily our sin nature can more easily corrode and infiltrate our flesh.
Luckily, our flesh doesn't have to be in control. Rather, the reigns of our souls can be given to G-d and then the 'outer courts' of our bodies don't have to fall prey to the sin. While you are in this court, examine your 'flesh' and ask yourself, have I been acting my best today, this week, this month, this year? If not, remember what I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all our iniquity." That is a promise to you that you have never done anything that haShem will not forgive, come to Him now.
"For I am not ashamed in the gospel because it is the power of Eloah for the salvation of all who trust in it, whether they're from the Jews first or for the Goyim." Romans 1:16 "But when the Ruach haKodesh comes upon you, you will receive power and you will be witnesses for Me in Yerushalaiyim and in all Y'hudah and also among the Samaritans, even unto the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
These verses remind us that we are to minister to the Y'hudim first, then the Goyim. It is important not for forget ministering to our own kind because many Jews don't accept us, but we are the ones who can reach them the most because we have a better understanding of the teachings of Judaism. That said, we musn't get so caught up in witnessing to Jews that we forget the Gentile. While on this page, dedicated to Gentiles, think about your own life. Is it a witness to the light within you, Yeshua?
Also think about the GLBT community. I know a lot of them don't like anything to do with religion because they feel rejected by churches and synagogues. Do your best to minister to these 'lepers and tax collectors' of your day, just as Yeshua did. I always consider what Yeshua said, "And anyone who causes one of these little ones who trust in me to stumble, it would be better for him of the millstone of a donkey were placed on his neck and he were cast into the sea." Mk. 9:42 Many pastors and rabbis tend to see homosexuality as a sin and reject those who practise it. But a Messianic rabbi is, in a way, preventing me from attending shul and believing when he/she disfellowships me from the community. True, I have the choice to go to a Reform synagogue, or a United church (or some others). But they aren't Messianic, it would almost be like having to switch religions (at the very least denominations) just because of your sexual orientation. I'm reminded of the Jews in Rav. Sha'ul's day, who wouldn't allow believing Jews into their synagogues. Any new religion was outlawed by the Emperor, and Judaism was only sanctioned by the government because the priests prayed for the fortune of the Emperor twice daily. By not allowing Jews into the worship community, it meant that being caught worshipping as a Messianic was at best a prison sentence, but more likely a good beating, or even death. Jews were sending other Jews to their death, out in the cold streets with no one to defend them. Though I know many of us Messianics do not suffer the same extreme fate, the situation is similar. By not being allowed into the Messianic community we are in a sense, being thrown out into the streets. We must decide whether we will have to attend an unbelieving synagogue, or a Gentile Christian church, or even a different path altogether. Some former gay Messianics decide to become Buddists or even atheists because their rejection has been so deeply felt.
As Messianic Jewish homosexuals, we can act as a bridge between the MJ and gay communities. Be a witness to other gay people, and also, consider writing to the UMJC, MJA, or MBI and show them that being a practising homosexual is not sinful. They may change their position in time. G-d can use you as a positive influence in the world.
Let us now enter the Inner Court.