Foundations for Life in the Spirit
basic teaching about the spirit realm
for mature disciples in Yeshua
The Realm of the Spirit
When our Lord Yeshua had driven the sellers and the money changers out of the temple, He was asked for a sign to show His authority for doing so. He said, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." John added, "But the temple He had spoken of was His body."
On another occasion Yeshua had said, "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here." We see here that in His teaching, Yeshua was speaking of the more important temple of His body, even though those around Him thought that He was speaking of the temple which had been built by King Herod.
Just as His body was a temple, so also are we: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" Paul says that we should know this from Torah and from Ezekiel: "For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' "
Now which is more important, the Lord's physical body, or we as His spiritual Body? But Scripture already tells us: "Even though we have known Messiah according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creature."
We therefore have three kinds of temple: a building made of stone, a human body, and the union of the elect in Messiah.
Only one of these still exists as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The building was destroyed, and the Lord's human body died and was transformed in resurrection; but the union of the saints in Him is still growing. And in all cases, the importance of the temple is in what it contains that cannot be seen, rather than in what can be seen.
Some of the believers in Corinth were sick, and some had died, because they were not able to correctly relate to the Body of the Lord. "For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself." What were they not recognizing? The spiritual reality.
They knew the symbols and what they represented, but they did not draw the required conclusions, because they did not see the spiritual reality. They were the Body of the Lord, and they wished to represent that reality by eating and drinking His supper, but they were not behaving as if they were His Body, nor as if they were His holy Temple.
Paul was very concerned about those who have only the outward form, without the spiritual power that should be inside: "People…having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." He was just as concerned about those who think that the gospel consists in saying the right words: "I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."
Was Paul intending to have a wrestling match with them? Not one that could be seen.
What is spiritual power? If it cannot be seen, what good is it? "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Messiah. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete."
Was Paul going to put people in jail, or cause them to be beaten? Not at all, for these things do not have the power to circumcise hearts. How did Paul use spiritual power to punish disobedience? "When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Yeshua, and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Yeshua is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. "
Where do we live? Paul was able to visit those churches he had established even though he was not present physically: "Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present." And again: "For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Messiah is."
Should we be surprised or amazed by this? The Lord Himself prayed that we would have the same union with Him that He shares with our Father: "I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me. "
Paul prayed for us in the same way: "...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
But is this not available already? "For in Messiah all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Messiah". And again: "…for the church, which is his Body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way."
Let us be One with Him.
The scripture quotes in this article, in order of their appearance:
John 2:19, 21
1 Corinthians 3:16
2 Corinthians 6:16, 5:16-17
1 Corinthians 11:29
2 Timothy 3:5
1 Corinthians 4:19-20
2 Corinthians 10:4-6
1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 3
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