Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jesus Prepares his Men for the Storming of the Temple

In the Temple there was a room called the "Treasury." In this Treasury were large silver trumpets which were offering boxes. Pilgrims came and dropped their offerings into the mouths of the trumpets and the coins would roll, clatter and tinkle down into a collection box. Jesus was in the Temple. And he looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts inside the silver trumpets. They gave large gifts and they made quite a racket and they rolled down in the trumpets. Then a certain poor widow came in and quietly dropped in two small copper coins that, being so small, made very little noise as they went down the trumpets. Then Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you that this poor widow has put more in than all these others. For they put in out of their abundance and have made an offering unto God out of what they could spare. But his poor widow, out of her poverty has put in all of the livelihood that she had." (Mark 12:41-42, Luke 21:1-4). And as he went out of the temple, Andrew said unto him, "Rabbouni, see what manner of stones and what great buildings are here!" And Jesus answering said unto him, "You see these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the temple, Kaipha and Jacob and Johannan and Andrew asked him privately about these things (Mark 13:1-4).

"Look down upon the Temple. What do you see? The Court of All Nations, the place designated for the Gentiles to come and worship the one true God, has been changed into a market place. The holy place, a place of cleanliness is covered with animal manure, filth and stench. This Temple is a slaughterhouse were blood flows like a torrential flood. Our prayers are interrupted by the terrified bleating and lowing of frightened animals being taken to their deaths. The priests demand that we sacrifice animals and we can only do so at their high price. The money changers collecting the half-shekel also extort and rob from the people. It is time to put an end to these practices. Is this a sanctuary of the Lord or a temple to Mammon? It is a "robbery for a burnt offering", as the prophet has said (Isaiah 61:8)."

"But Rabbi," Andrew answered, "the law and the prophets demand the animal sacrifices and the collection of the holy half shekel."

"The Law and the Prophets lasted until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Luke 16:16, Matthew 11:12). Do you remember when I spoke in Nazareth? There I proclaimed my mission statement from Isaiah. He says, "The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me because he hath anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the enslaved, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are oppressed, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" But this passage continues and says "to proclaim the day of vengeance." In the same passage, Isaiah also says, "For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery for a burnt offering (Isaiah 61:8)." I am going to the Temple and I am going to shut it down. I will proclaim by my words and action God's judgment against the Temple establishment."

"I am the only begotten Son of God. All that the Father has is mine (John 16:15). This is my Father's house and I as his Son lay claim to it. He Who is Greater Than the Temple has come (Matthew 12:6). My Father says, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations"- not a place of animal sacrifices, and not a market place nor a place for tax collection (Isaiah 56:7). They have changed my Father's house into a den of thieves (Jeremiah 7:11). The Sadducees have made the Temple of the Lord into a Temple for Mammon. Tomorrow we are going to seize the temple. All animals will be put out. While we hold the Temple the sacrifices will be stopped. All commerce in the courts will be stopped. I am going to throw all the moneychangers out. While we hold the Temple we will establish pure worship for the hours we hold it. We will stop the sacrifices. It is time to put an end to these corrupt practices. I am going to shut down the Temple. There will only be prayer and proper reverence given unto my Father while we hold the Temple. We will be proclaiming the word of God through our actions. However, we will relinquish control of the Temple before nightfall. This needs to be carefully planned and coordinated."

Judas said, "But master, don't you remember those Galileans whose blood Pontius Pilate mingled with the sacrifices? We could all be killed! I am not sure I am with you on this one." And Jesus answering said unto him, "Do you suppose that these Galilaeans were worse sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, no, but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:1-5). We have entered a new phase in my ministry. Now, he who is not with me is against me, he who does not gather scatters (Matthew 12:30). Those who desire to gain my Kingdom must receive me through affliction and suffering (Barnabas 7:11). It is through many tribulations that we must enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22)."

"The work that I do I do it for my Father. We have almost forty acres to occupy. I need all of you to help me do this. Hopefully we can do this without anyone getting injured or killed but we could all end up being crucified for this. Deny yourself. Tomorrow, be prepared to pick up and carry a cross when you follow me (Matthew 16:24). He that has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must be accomplished in me, "and he was reckoned among the transgressors," for these things concerning me have an end (Isaiah 53:12)." And Simeon the Canaanean said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And he said to them, "That is enough." (Luke 22:36-38) Simon Kaipha and Simeon the Insurgent carried the swords. "The rest of us will be armed with whips and staves. I want to avoid bloodshed. Thomas, you are my double. I want you to dress as I am dressed tomorrow. I need a security detail to protect me. I want a wall of men, at least three men thick. We need to neutralize the temple police and the soldiers. Simon the Canaanean will go over our strategy. With our men we will make a clean sweep of the Temple. We will need to work quickly tomorrow. We will need as many men as we can get; but good loyal and dependable men we can trust. Go and gather them together and let me address them."


The men came to Jesus. He explained the plan to them and then spoke to them and said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I haven't come to bring peace but a sword! I am come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother, a man's enemies shall be they of his own household! He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife, and children, brothers and sisters, and yes, even is own life, he cannot be my disciple (Micah 7:6, Matthew 10:34-42, Luke 12:51-53, Thomas 1:16). And he that is not prepared to pick up his cross and follow after me, and is not prepared to be crucified with me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it, but he that loses his life for my sake shall find it. Do not be afraid of those who can kill your body but cannot destroy your soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both the body and the soul-in hell!" (Matthew 10:28) And Thomas said, "Let us go with him, that we may die with him!" (John 11:16)

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