STUDIES FROM BRETHREN IN CHRIST

SERMON MENU SELECTIONS

9/13/2007 ~ The Day God was Evicted
                      → from His House



"Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple."
~ Matthew 12:6


THE LORD IS THERE

God desires a Holy people.
His desire is evident from the very beginning
~ as God walked closely with His first creation, Adam & Eve.
● Then man was rejected from the garden because of sin.
○ God then prepared for a way for His own holy people
that would be befitting and devoted to Him.


... To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; ...
~ Genesis 12:1-3


From Abraham's descendants, a nation of holy people would be born.

... "Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go
that he may serve Me. ... ~ Exodus 4:22-23


A people that would serve God.

... You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy;
for I am holy. ... ~ Leviticus 11:44-45


He is God and calls for us to be holy for He is Holy.
He then gave His special people a promised land.
David prepared a specific place for the worship of God
~ and Solomon built it.


May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. ...
~ 1st Kings 8:57-58


But then Solomon led his people away from the worship of God.
He himself introduced a tremendous amount of idolatry,
● right in Jerusalem. Idols that persisted for centuries.


Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, ...
~ 1st Kings 11:6-8


                                 Given to Solomon's civil servant Jeroboam. <─┐
"... I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant."
~ 1st Kings 11:11


Jeroboam then ruled over ten tribes to the north of Jerusalem
~ after Solomon's death.

Kingdom  
Israel (10 tribes) - King Jeroboam
Judah (2 tribes) - King Rehoboam
  Divided

○ God promised Jeroboam that he would inherit a holy linage
if he would remain faithful.


... "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.
Here are your gods, O Israel, ..." ~ 1st Kings 12:28


Jeroboam led them down the path of idolatry just as Solomon did.
● Israel turned out to be worse than Judah to the south.
~ So God allows Israel to be destroyed and taken into captivity.


For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord
their God, ... ~ 2nd Kings 17:7-8

      └─> They abandoned God.

135 years after the destruction of Israel, taken captive by Assyria,
~ Judah had continued in idolatry.


"... Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit." ~ Jeremiah 7:1-8

The people had their confidence in the temple and not God.
● Institutionalized religion ●
Comparatively, when people see themselves as church members,
in a church, rather than Christians, one's trust is misplaced.


                          They continued to trust in the temple. <─┐
... you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. ...
~ Jeremiah 7:27


The need was, and is, to return to God.

       ┌─> Thank the Lord for His promises.
... after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds,
and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people. ... ~ Jeremiah 31:33-34


GOD HAS BEEN CLEAR.
THE FALL OF JUDAH

  • Daniel was taken into captivity in 605 BC. to Babylonia.
  • Ezekiel was taken in 597 BC.
  • In 586 BC Jerusalem was destroyed and Jeremiah
         chose to stay in Jerusalem.
  • ALL THREE GAVE THE SAME WARNINGS TO RETURN TO GOD.


              Ezekiel is an almost 30 year old priest. <─┐
    ... the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year
    of King Jehoiachin's captivity, ... ~ Ezekiel 1:1-3


    God gives Ezekiel visions to help him understand
    so he is able to explain to the people why and what is going on .


    ... in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month,
    as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah ... ~ Ezekiel 8:1

          └─> After 5 years of captivity, Ezekiel reaches the age of 30.

    He obviously had much training preparing himself to serve in the temple.

           ┌─>
    Priests had to be 30 to enter tabernacle duties.
    "... from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old,
    all who enter the service ..." ~ Numbers 4:3


    ... and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem,
    to the door of the north gate of the inner court, ... ~ Ezekiel 8:2-3


    Ezekiel is led in a vision to the temple in Jerusalem.

    And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, ... ~ Ezekiel 8:4

    While the glory of God was still there,
    the first thing Ezekiel sees is an idol of jelousy.


    ... great abominations that the house of Israel commits here,
    to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? ... ~ Ezekiel 8:5-6


    God show Ezekiel the reasons He will be driven out of His own house.

    ... "Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there." ...
    ~ Ezekiel 8:7-12

    ↗↗↗↗↗↗↗ ↑↑↑↑↑↑ ↖↖↖↖↖↖↖
    Seventy (In the New Testament, the number of the Sanhedrin)
      of the elders of Israel are practicing idolatry.


              They wept for the Sumerian fertility God and not God. <─┐
    ... to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.
    ~ Ezekiel 8:13-14


    IDOLS!

    ... a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations
    which they commit ... ~ Ezekiel 8:15-18


    God was driven far away from His own sanctuary.

    Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub,
    and paused over the threshold of the temple; ... ~ Ezekiel 10:4


    God pauses ready to exit the temple.

    Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple ...
    ~ Ezekiel 10:18


    And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city ...
    ~ Ezekiel 11:23


    God moved out of His own house because He was evicted.
    The people who should have been maintaining it for Him filled it with everything against God’s will. <─┘


    ... "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for
    My holy name's sake, which you have profaned ..." ~ Ezekiel 36:22


    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; ...
    ~ Ezekiel 36:26


    These people who were spiritually dead had abandoned God.
    Yet God offers them a new heart, a coming new covenant.
    ~ But how could He bring them back to life?
    God resurrect the people of Judah?


    And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" ... ~ Ezekiel 37:3

    God tells Ezekiel to preach to the dead bones!

    ... and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. ...
    ~ Ezekiel 37:7-10


    When the word of God is preached it brings life back to the dead.

                                                  ┌─>
    The unholy people attacking God’s holy people.
    ... "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal."
    ~ Ezekiel 38:2-3


    Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? ... ~ Psalm 2:1-3

    ... "We ought to obey God rather than men. ..." ~ Acts 5:27-33

    It is the will of evil to attack with force the people of God.

    ... I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations,
    but also brought them back to their land ... ~ Ezekiel 39:27-29


    God gives the victory to His people.

    ... toward the south was something like the structure of a city. ...
    ~ Ezekiel 40:2-3


    A symbolic city of perfection is described where God's people will dwell.
    God will prevail with His people.


    ... The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and
    behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. ... ~ Ezekiel 43:1-5


    The idolatry is gone.
    The glory of God is where the temple is purified.
    This restoration would be accomplished through Jesus Christ,
    to bring back His glory.


    ... and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.
    ~ Ezekiel 48:35


    THE LORD IS THERE:
    1. That's what God wanted.
    2. What God was denied.
    3. What He eventually establishes.
    The Lord wants fellowship with His people.


    Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
    who is in you, whom you have from God, ... ~ 1st Corinthians 6:19-20


    God expects us to dedicate ourselves to Him as individuals.
    We are the temple of God and should not use our bodies for immorality.


    ... the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
    who loved me and gave Himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:19-20


    ... "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord,
    Do not touch what is unclean, ..." ~ 2nd Corinthians 6:14-18


    ... having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all
    filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness ... ~ 2nd Corinthians 7:1


    God has promised to be our God and we can be His house (sanctuary).

    We need to get rid of:
    1. Works of the flesh, immorality.
    2. Impurity of the spirit
    3. False religion, false doctrine, false practice.
    We have to perfect our holiness in the fear of God.


    The challenge is to perfect our holiness.

    ... I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself
    in the house of God, ... ~ 1st Timothy 3:15


    God also expects us to dedicate ourselves to Him collectively.

    ... If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the
    temple of God is holy, which temple you are. ~ 1st Corinthians 3:16-17


    We need to do the things the way God tells us to.
    It is His house and we need to show Him due respect.


    ... His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who
    called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ... ~ 1st Peter 2:9-10


    God's desire is for His own spiritual nation.
    We are privalleged to be a part of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.


    ... He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because
    it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." ~ 1st Peter 1:13-16


    God expects us to be holy.
    It is the biggest challenge made to us today.
    It is the challenge to imitate that holiness in our conduct.
    God is incapable of existing permanently in the presence of iniquity.
    We need to develop a character that despises sin like God despises sin.
    God wants us to live separate from sin.
    ~ We minimize the significance of sin.

    “Oh God won’t judge somebody for that” – Did God say that?


    SIN = UGLINESS

    ... "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed,
    to her wallowing in the mire." ~ 2nd Peter 2:20-22


    Sin is discusting to God.
    All of us have specific battles with self control.
    Next time we find our weakness, remember how ugly God sees it.

                                                  ┌─>
    God offers us salvation from our ugliness.
    ... that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your
    mouth anymore because of your shame, ... ~ Ezekiel 16:62-63


    We must defeat the enemy within us.
    Through God's unlimited love He offers us salvation for our sins.
    If we understand the gravity of sin, the depth of His love in saving us,
    ~ how can we be silent about this?
    Do we value what has been delivered?
    ○ God has wanted His holy nation since He created man.
    He will have this eternal worship.
    ~ We have the privilege of being part of that people.
    It requires a determination to be holy for He is holy.
    Do you truly respect and follow the principles He teaches?
    What do you worship, things or God?


    ... the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,
    afterward destroyed those who did not believe. ~ Jude 1:5


    "... All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy."
    ~ Zephaniah 3:8


    Does our sin outweigh our righteousness?
    Is evil overwhelming the good in us?
    ○ Pray God help us.




     

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    Copyright © 2007 by Ronald Arthur Bert. ‏ ‏ All rights reserved.