Thursday, December 3, 2015

How Does Your Worship Measure Up?

For nearly two decades now there is a group in Israel known as the Temple Mount Faithful that run the Temple Mount Institute who have been making preparations to get ready for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. They have rebuilt many of the tools to be used in the Temple as well as the menorah, and have been researching the red heifer, which they have now discovered as well as those who fall in the lineage of the Levitical priests, from the gowns the priest will wear, this group is taking this extraordinarily serious. The have it all down to the finest minute details from the exact color dye for the priests gown derived from a sea snail. We know that at this time, there is no Temple Mount in Jerusalem but in our study today we are learning that there will be. God says that one day there will be.

There are those who refuse to believe in the New Testament but through their actions, they are working on efforts that one day they believe it will be built again. This is just another indicator of last days events. God's Word is always true. You can even use Google Earth to check this area out where the Temple will one day be built again. It is just to the left and north of the Dome of the Rock. It is a vacant lot where it will one day be rebuilt and prophecy to be fulfilled.

Remember in our study yesterday, we concluded that God is issuing a warning throughout the Book of Revelation and even during the Tribulation Period when it comes, that He loves us so much, He doesn't want us to have to go through these things we are reading about and studying today. Don't lose sight of that.

As we continue our study this morning, we know that the warning God is providing of a very specific event comes a temple to the city of Jerusalem. One day in the last days, the Bible is assuming that a Temple will be rebuilt in the city of Jerusalem. There is not a temple there today, but the Bible clearly states that one day one will come. Scholars will argue that this is not what this portion of scripture is referring to and it must be something else because a temple will never be rebuilt there. Israel as we know is making serious preparations for this to happen even though they refuse to read the New Testament portions of the Bible. The priestly gowns have already been made right down to the most minute detail. The menorah for the holy of holies is already made. The altar has already been created. They are teaching those of the Levite lineage how to perform the priestly duties. Israel is planning on building a Temple.

They can't build it at this time because of the Muslim/Palestinian world would go crazy. It would be the catalyst for the next world war. It won't happen today, but Israel is moving in that direction. We know that there is a coming Temple because Jesus said so.

Matthew 24:14-15 ~ "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. So when you see standing in the holy place, 'the abomination that cause desolation,' spoken through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - "

There will be a rebuilding of the Temple in what looks to be the area just north of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. I believe that the Dome of the Rock will still be there because Scripture talks about a wall being built that will separate this holy place away from a defiled area. Why would the Bible mention this Temple Mount area as being defiled? God says in the last days, a Temple will come to Jerusalem. However a lot of political things have to happen before that could ever be true. There are motions and work taking place to brings these things about when that day comes. There is a flat area just north of the Dome of the Rock that can easily allow for the Temple to be rebuilt right behind the Golden Gate, that the Tribulation Temple will be built.

When John was given this vision in 90 A.D., the Temple did not exist either. In 70 A.D. it was destroyed by Titus in the invading Roman Empire to sequester an uprising in Jerusalem during that time. Jesus predicted this would happen when He said not one stone would be left unturned when the Temple was destroyed. The Bible says a day is coming when a man, the Son of Perdition, some scholars refer to him as a Prince or a Western Prince, will arise out of the ancient borders of a once great Roman Empire.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 ~ "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God."

Even though we have a conglomeration of nations within the Europe Union right now, the Bible says that 10 nations will rise out of the 25 nations that are within that group right now. Within that 10, there will be a predominate group of 4 leaders that will be the spokespersons for these nations. Out of the 4, the Bible says that 1 will rise up and that will be the "western prince" or Son of Perdition or Antichrist and he will speak convincing words to the world that the world will believe. He will turn around the world's economy so that it will be the most prosperous time that the world has ever known. This time period will last for about 3 1/2 years. He will cause the environment to be rejuvenated to some degree but he will not convince all the world. It appears that China and parts of the Asian world will come to war against him, and we will study more about that in greater detail in chapter 13. This man will be the greatest politician the world has ever seen.

In the United States right now, our own independence is an affront to the entire global community. Did you know that? It is not liked and is jealously disdained in Europe. The independent spirit in Americans is not well received in the world. We are labeled as "free thinkers," "independents,"  and are marked as renegades in the global community. Ronald Reagan even received flack for being labeled as a "rogue cowboy." The world is getting a mind set of globalism. The United States is an affront to that and it doesn't easily bow to the whims of the United Nations. But something greater than the U.N. is coming. The European Union is gaining strength, even their dollar is worth more than our currency now. There will a continued decrease in the dollar and the yen, and you'll see more countries embracing the Euro as the European Union continues to grow in power and influence in the world.

The European Union is taking its cue from the United States and is following suit. There is one huge difference, God is being left out of their constitution, their flags, and their currency whereas the United States at this time has God in the midst of it all when He founded this nation. He is in the middle of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, our Declaration of Independence. What comes out of Europe must have a vacancy of God for this man to rise to power. The Bible says that he will stand in the Temple of God during the Tribulation Period and declare himself to be God. The Bible says that the people of the world will fall under the deception and believe him. He will sign a 7-year peace treaty with Israel and its warring neighbors in Daniel 9.

They will vote with their pocketbooks because they want prosperity in their lives and they want the environment to be restored, all the environmental groups will love him. Don't mistake the belief that Christians should be the greatest custodians of God's creations. But look around you and you can see the extremes people are taking these activities now. The difference is we don't worship creation, they do. The world is being groomed for this time to come.

Revelation 11:1 ~ "I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there."

I can understand measuring the Temple of God, the altar but counting the worshipers? We know that Jesus Christ is our High Priest, Jesus Christ died on the cross once and for all, and Jesus ascended to heaven to present His blood upon the altar in heaven. The temple was destroyed because it wasn't needed anymore. God is not into earthly temples. God is no longer into earthly altars. Jesus is now resurrected and is now enthroned in heaven. When we pray do we face a temple? We don't do this because as Christians, we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and our God is enthroned in heaven. We can pray any way we want to, any time we want to, any where we want to. Our salvation is not connected to an earthly temple.

When John is asked to measure the temple, this is the temple the Antichrist will use. Even though it says it is the Temple of God, that is how the Jewish people reference it. God has not declared it to be His temple. The Bible says that won't happen until Jesus returns to earth and He establishes His own temple in Jerusalem. This is the temple to be commandeered or stolen by the Antichrist. It's a false temple and needless altar.

Now it comes to measuring the worshipers and in the Greek it is metreo which means: to measure, to ascertain in size, to make note of detail. To determine size, scope and influence. The word here is both figuratively and actual it just depends on the application. How do you measure people? John is told to measure their hearts. Who are they? What do they know? In what form are they worshiping? Where are they with God? God measures the worshiper right now! God is always measuring our desire or passion for worship.

If you read your Bible carefully, Christians are prone to worship! If you want to find a Christian who is worth anything to hang around with, find one who is a worshiper! Christians should be worshiping and praising God! It's what we are going to be doing in Heaven! It's good practice. God might not count the physical number of people worshiping in church but He measures each one of us. Do you ever notice that sometimes when you are singing worship songs, you might be mouthing the words, but your mind is someplace else. Sometimes if you are like me, you have to close your eyes to get rid of all distractions. When you worship alone, do you do that? We should understand that when we worship corporately in church, what a blessing that is. The music in church has nothing to do with us. As a Christian, we need to make worship a priority, not something you show up just after its almost over or leave just as it begins at the conclusion of service and you head out so you don't have to be stuck trying to get out of the parking lot. God measures His worshipers.

Distraction is an easy thing, especially in worship. Every Christian has experienced this. It is attacked with distractions. Anytime we try to do something for God or spend time with God, our minds have a tendency to wander. While we are involved in a spiritual devotion with God, it is foreign to this world. It is foreign to our nature. It is foreign to our life in this world. It is all about us worshiping the Lord and that is why it is so difficult. When we worship God, there is a beautiful death that takes place to us, our self, our demands, our wants, and we lose track of us, which is always a good thing. Worship causes us to see God bigger.

If you remember in the movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy tells Aslan that every year he gets bigger. Aslan is the picture of Jesus in C.S. Lewis' classic novel. He doesn't get any bigger, its that Lucy worships him more. When we worship God, He gets bigger to us and that is why we need to do that. We lose ourselves in His presence. In the worship of God.

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