What is a church? What is a temple? Is there a difference between a church and a temple? Yes! A church is not a temple.
What is a Temple
A temple is a building, place for worship or a dwelling place of God or gods.
It is the place where God dwells in; the house of God.
2 Sam 7:5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me a house for me to dwell in?
A temple is important because it is a dwelling place for God.
With the Children of Israel, we see God always moving with them in a tent. Yes! He used to dwell in a tent.
2 Sam 7:6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
The tent which was the house of God was sacred.
Since God needs a temple to dwell in and be with man, we see King David taking the step to build God a temple which was accomplished by his son, Solomon.
In the Old Testament, God dwelt in a place, building, tent, etc but in the New Testament, especially in the dispensation of Grace, God does not dwell in a building, place, tent, etc. See the 8 dispensations.
Before the dispensation of Grace, the Holy Spirit was not dwelling in man because the promise, Jesus, had not yet came to the world.
So, where does God dwell in this dispensation of Grace?
The Temple in dispensation of grace
In ushering in the dispensation of grace, Jesus destroyed the old temple, the old dwelling place of God, and built a new temple.
This is as prophesied to King David by God.
2 Sam 7:12 – 14: And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.
The seed of David promised and prophesied by God to build Him a house (temple) is Jesus as you see in the last line. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.
Yes! Jesus destroyed the old dwelling place of God (temple) and built a new house of God.
We see Jesus promising to destroy the old temple and build a new one in three days.
John 2:18-21 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, what sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three day. But he spoke of the temple of his body.
Yes! The temple was His body.
In the dispensation of grace, the temple, the house of God, is our body, my body.
We see Jesus building the new temple on the cross when He was pierced producing blood and water. John 19:34: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
God does not dwell in a place, building, tent etc anymore but He dwells in a temple build with blood and water. He does not dwell in a house build with bricks and cement.
A true temple does not need bricks, cement or place to build but water and blood.
The temple is not the church. There is a big difference between the temple and the church. So, what is a church?
What is a Church
Because the temple is the body, my body, and God is a spirit, the human body which the spirit of God dwells in is the church.
The spirit of God is the Holy Spirit and the spirit dwells in the body when we accept Jesus Christ. This is the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The place or building referred to as the church is not the church or God’s dwelling place. It is there for a purpose but God does not dwell there.
God is a living God, who does not dwell in non-living things which have no destiny but He uses then for a purpose. God only dwells in humans who have destiny.
Worshiping a building or place in name of a church
The big mistake people make and are making is worshiping non-living things which God used or uses for purpose.
Moses was told by God, ‘Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he look upon it, shall live’ (Num 21:8).
Its God who said the bronze serpent to be made but the children of Israel started worshiping it.
Hoshea’s, son of Elah, had to break and burn the bronze serpent because that was what was right in the eyes of God. (2 Kings 18:4)…and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it.
We also see the children of Israel worshiping the places which Jacob worshiped and these places had to be destroyed.
There are many examples in the bible where God used a non-living thing for a purpose but the children of Israel turn it to god and we see Him send a person to destroy it.
Worshiping a place, a building, image or anything else apart from God is idolatry.
We see many people today worshiping place, building, mountains, objects etc in the name of ‘God dwells there’. This is idolatry.
Even though God used or uses a non-living things for a purpose, He does not dwell in them.
That does not mean since God does not dwell in them we should destroy or not care about them. We should take care of all non-living things because they are God’s creation but we should not worship them.
- A temple is a building, place for worship or a dwelling place of God or gods. It is the place where God dwells in; the house of God.
- A church is the human body which the spirit of God dwells in
- A true temple does not need bricks, cement or place to build but water and blood.
- God dwells in humans with destiny not non-living things with no destiny
- The building, place, tent etc which we call the church is not the church
Every living human being is a temple, a dwelling place, of God since s/he has a body but not every person is a church, the Bride of Christ. A body becomes a church when the Holy Spirit dwells in the body.
Since God is spirit and Jesus is God, and God is a trinity, the human body in which the Holy Spirit dwells becomes the Body of Christ.