Tuesday, June 26, 2018


“Do you now know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
There is a line in popular Christian singer Jeremy Camp’s great song from 2015 “The Same Power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us….lives in us”. This Power is called the Holy Spirit and comes directly from the Bible.  The Holy Spirit is the most incredible Being and Person in the World, after the Lord Jesus Christ! He is a Person and God Himself. Even more amazing is He is embedded in the spirits and souls of all who have recognized our sins, fallen to our proverbial knees and then turned to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Captain of our lives, in addition to being the Lord and Savior of our souls.  This is the crux of the matter.

The same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead. The same Spirit of God Who was “hovering over the waters” in Genesis 1:2 and created the earth, on the Word of Christ. The same Spirit Who descended from Heaven like a dove unto the Christ, Whom John had just baptized in the Jordan – that Same Spirit – is alive and working in the lives of all who are truly saved and born again into the Kingdom of His Marvelous Light! Conversely, if someone who calls themselves a “Christian” does not have the Spirit of God alive in them, they are not one of His redeemed.

The Bible tells us that “the Eyes of the Lord move to and fro across throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is COMPLETELY His” (2 Chronicles 16:9a). How is this possible? How can God know each of His faithful children and their regenerated hearts? Well, He IS our Creator and secondly, He IS God! He knows trillions of stars and heavenly beings by names and knows when a bird falls from the sky for the last time.

To this end, it would behoove the Christian to be very careful with how we conduct our spiritual and physical lives. We have God living with and going everywhere with us.  This is why the Lord sternly informs of the following in 1 Corinthians 3:16 “do you now know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”. Simultaneously, God says in the very next verse in part b, that “the temple of God (The Holy Spirit) is holy, and that is what you (and I) are”!

The directive of 1 Corinthians 3:16 is for all followers of Jesus Christ and most of all, this writer. Because the Holy Spirit of God Himself lives in us, each individual is considered a Temple – a place where the Spirit and very essence of God reside. We are temples, not like the ones where the pagans bow down to their millions of false idol gods, but more significantly, one like King Solomon’s temple when it was built and the Lord came down with fire and consumed the offering. In our Holy and Heavenly bodily Temple,  the Lord does not have to descend and ascend because He has put His Spirit in us to seal us for that day when He calls us home, to be with Him. Therefore, it is incumbent on each of us to treat our bodies, minds, and souls with extreme care, so that we can attain to His High Heavenly Standards.

Therefore, the following are the various facets of our individual lives to which we must dedicate our attention:

This is the most critical of the four pillars of our lives and the one which
determines our eternal destiny. As previously mentioned, one must be born-again to receive the Spirit of God and be sealed until the day of redemption.  This is the only permanent and outward sign (since it shows) that we are indeed saved.

We cannot lose our salvation because the Holy Spirit does not come and go and come and go. In addition, Jesus said in John 10:27 that “my sheep know My Voice, and NO ONE can snatch them out of My Hands”.  While some people disparage the “Once Saved, Always Saved”, it nonetheless, remains true.  Secondly, there are not “two fillings” of the Holy Spirit. This misconception only took root in the last 120 years in America and had nothing to do with the early church, the early church fathers or the Reformation which actually began in the 14th century and then lasted a few hundred years.

These aside, what we are commanded to do is the following:
  • PRAY:  Jesus spoke of prayer many times and how sometimes prayer and fasting are the only ways to victory.  He made it absolutely clear we are intended to pray. Witness Matthew 6:6 “….when you pray…..” Then in Matthew 6:7 He says “….when you are praying….” In Matthew 6:9 ….”Pray, then, like this…..” None of these are suggestions! Jesus gave two “when’s” and a “then”….and this is just only some of His direct instructions. There are more. The biggest shortcoming of Christians in churches, especially in the more developed countries is the inability, unwillingness, and lack of any care or love for praying.  This should not be a stumbling block to the loyal and faithful who seek to honor Holy Spirit and become a fixed point of reference for those who need a strong Christian as an example of praying Christian.

  • STUDY:  The statement by Jesus’ missionary to us – the Gentile followers – to stay firmly planted in the Word of God – the Bible, is clear.  First of all, the teachings of the Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the books of the New Testament were considered Scripture, very early in the life of Jesus’ Church. 2 Peter  3:15-16 explains the letters of Paul to the various churches not only are inspired but are to be treated firmly as the known books of the bible at that time. The Apostles taught from the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy); as well as the Prophets (Isaiah and others) as well as the Psalms. This is what we call the Old Testament but were already known as the Scriptures in the entire authentic religious world.  God has already preserved them by having them all translated into Greek in the year in Alexandria, Egypt in what is known as the Septuagint.

Not only are we to study His Word to know Who the Lord is, how He thinks and operates as Creator, Ruler and Lord of all, but we are to believe His Word. All Scripture contained in the Bible is true and the divine thread, woven through 66 different books by 40 different authors over 1500 years, tell the same story – God’s Redemption plan through His Sovereign power and Jesus Christ. Because the Words are true and confirmed by the Holy Spirit Who abides in our current bodily form, we can trust them. Because we can trust them, we can proceed with what Jesus, through Paul, taught in 2 Timothy 3:16  "All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness".

So never neglect Bible study and Bible reading. Something powerful happens when Scripture is read out loud, both in private and in a corporate body.  The very oracles of God are let loose into the atmosphere, to bless and transform lives even if we are not able to see it, as we read God’s Word out loud.

  • FELLOWSHIP: The most practical way to keep on the straight and narrow is accountability. We are first accountable to God in our personal lives, in our daily journey and maintenance of our personal Temple (of the Holy Spirit).  Humans, however, have this sin nature which fools and lulls even the best Christians into a sense of “all is well” and “everything is legal, under grace”. We have all done this. But accountability first to your family and then to your church family is highly mandatory if a person wishes to stay focused on our life’s work while walking close to God with a clear conscience. 

The Bible says as much when it recommends that we “not neglect the assembly of the saints” (saved ones). By the way, a “Saint” is not a stone statue of a deceased person. Any person, from any denomination, who is born-again and has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior IS a Saint (Philippians 1:1-2 etc... )!  Too many Christians think they can worship God in their living rooms, the baseball field or fishing boats or deer stand on Sunday morning, and that’s good enough.  

There is actually nothing particularly worshipful about watching Drs. Charles Stanley or David Jeremiah preach on TV and thinking you have been in church. However, there is something powerfully moving and lasting about being in the right fellowship with like-minded saints, week after week and then staying in touch, either through small group bible studies or visiting. 

Consider the following: since the goal of most people is to go to Heaven, who do we think will be in heaven with us if we are saved? The same people who some call hypocrites or gossip about and we will be spending eternity with them, in the worship of our Glorious God! Refusing to fellowship with these other imperfect people, because we are nowhere as perfect as we think we are, is not taking care of the Temple of the Holy Spirit – our inner and outer man or woman – as God intended. As iron sharpens iron, so does one man or woman sharpen another. Go to church and worship with others. This is a foretaste of Heaven.

Again,  1 Corinthians 3:16 reminds us we (our complete being – physical and spiritual lives) who are saved, house the Spirit of God within us. This is a good reminder for us to take good care of our physical bodies as well. While we are created with the end in mind, in that our life span is fixed by God, no matter what we do, it is extremely wise to look after our bodies. This wisdom about physical health is of prime importance. A child of God, especially a parent, has tremendous obligations to raise children and be a productive member of church and community. This cannot be done well if, outside of genetics, we abuse, neglect and let our bodies go.

Here again, Scripture has the answer and point of reference for all things.  Before the great Flood of Noah’s time, humans lived hundreds and hundreds of years and their diet was not as corrupt as it is today. When all that water covering our planet changed the entire atmosphere, the lifetime of humans was severely cut back. Abraham lived to 176 years old, but that became a rarity. Whereas pre-flood human beings could bear children into their 400’s;  600’s and more, for Abraham’s wife, Sarah, to bear a child at age 99 was a miracle!

Then came Moses and the Exodus. Moses himself is an interesting and amazing man to study. He was called to the Burning Bush by God at age 80, after forty tough hot years in the Midian desert raising sheep with Zipporah and her family. The bible says that when he was still a very healthy and strong man when he died at 120 years old! How did this happen?

The answers are found in the Jewish dietary and other health laws of the Books of the Old Testament which the vast super-majority of Christians (and even Jews) do not like to read! The books of Leviticus and Numbers are extremely difficult to understand unless the person reading it, grasps the reason God gave these over 600 laws and directives on food, hygiene, and worship. There is a divine reason which, while not clearly identifiable today, are sensible.

Jesus Christ died on the Cross to fulfill the Law of God. He did away with the ceremonial law but NOT the Ten Commandments. However, we can still learn a lot from a lot of those ceremonial laws which were designed from the tiny nation of Israelites to set them apart from the vast majority of mankind, which is Gentile (or non-Jewish).

The Old Testament banned the eating of any pork product, for good reasons. While this was revoked in the New Testament, when God sent down the sheet of animals three times in a vision to Peter (Acts 10:9-16), there is good reason to cut back big time on bacon (cholesterol and too much salt); ham (preservatives and salt) or pork chops (does not easily digest). Too much sodium in these cured items lead to high blood pressure. See the wisdom of God here. 

Scripture also forbade the eating of meat with blood running for it…sounds familiar? Steak and other beef derivatives that are both rare and medium-rare as food lead to all kinds of colon issues, if eaten regularly. This includes the consumption of hamburgers.  Even up to today, almost all Jewish people, in Israel,  have no problems with gout, colon cancer etc as their meat is cooked properly. This is a western thing, which is not stopping anytime soon as we eat more and more “fashionable” food and eat ourselves to death. 

Don’t even start talking about hotdogs and others such filler created meat products. Due to the rebellion and heathen conduct of the people, God caused the Israelites to wander for forty years in the desert. They never got sick and their shoes never wore out….proving that not only is God a good God to even those who hate Him, but that He allows His grace to fall on all peoples, this side of heaven.  

As for other dietary issues, there is always some issue with e-coli or salmonella due to even fruit and vegetables not handled properly. We should not expect many in the food industry to follow Biblical dietary laws, since they do not follow the Bible or believe it, but some of this other stuff is just common sense.  High cholesterol; hypertension; heart attacks; obesity and other western maladies are directly traceable to diet and the kind of foods we eat.  There are also problems with seafood. Salmon and other fish high in Omega oils are excellent for a healthy lifestyle. However if people knew what was in an oyster, well, it is not wise whatsoever. Shrimp, catfish and other scavenger fish are better left alone. Again, it is up to the individual, but the Bible commanded the Israelites to only eat fish with fins and scales. This rules out catfish, shark, oysters, clams and more.

There is nothing un-biblical, now, about eating any of this. However, just because something is legal, does not mean it is beneficial. The only commands about food for the Christian is in Acts 15:29 where we are forbidden to eat food sacrificed to idols. Most normal people do not have that problem, in western civilization.  Being wise about our food choices is advisable for maintenance of the temple of God’s spirit – our physical bodies.  

Whereas spiritual health is of prime importance and whereas our diets directly affect our health, it is as obvious as the sun rising in the east, that we combine Divine law with commonsense.  “Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a  healthy body is highly desirable for us to not just show respect for the Holy Spirit by washing our hands after using the rest rooms; tending to our personal cleanliness and the surroundings of our offices and homes and even neighborhoods. The very fact that people have to talk about this and put up notices in modern restaurants is an indication that these last couple generations of personnel were not brought up with proper manners or basic human customs. Just look at the streets of the big city, where God is pushed to the side and sinful people are in control.  

The following bible verses, most of the New Testament, are very clear about how our personal cleanliness is related to our relationship with our Heavenly Father:
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1)
"For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20)

"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality" (Galatians 5:19)
"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul" (3 John 1:2)

While we have to be very to ensure our health and hygiene are in line with being wise stewards of our bodies, immorality is the one thing which can break fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Joining bodies, in though, word and deed with someone with whom we are not married brings not just grievous sin but consequences. The New Testament warns of only three matters of high consequence for the Christian – do not eat food sacrificed to idols,  from blood and other things strangled and FROM FORNICATION (Acts 15:29) 

Fornication is more than just trolling the filthy pornographic websites of the internet or watching bad movies on Netflix or HBO. Sure, it is sexual promiscuity but much more. When we married our spouses, we were united in both spirit, purpose and flesh under God, according to Genesis 2:24. Any departure from that fixed zone, which was ordained by a vow before our Heavenly Father, is more than a violation of the Seventh Commandment. It violates almost all of the Commandments which is a flowing chain, where when one link is broken, they all break.

The one vivid example used for the last 3000 years, is King David and Bathsheba. In this case, the beautiful Bathsheba was another man’s wife. So David coveted her beauty and her womanhood, which was in marital union with another man. David violated her marriage vows, which she also participated in. He put himself before God, which broke the first commandment. He dishonored his parents. He made sex and lust to be idols over the Word of God. He committed adultery then killed Bathsheba’s husband.  Can a Christian come back from that kind of outrage? Yes – God shows us how in Psalm 51 and Psalm 32. Would there be consequences for these horrible actions? Yes - from life in prison and the worse things you can think of, as regards family, reputation and freedom.

Does this sort of thing happen today among Christians – pastors and members, to be exact? Yes it does, and too frequently. We all know better and as tempting as the forbidden fruit is, here is where we summon the strength of a thousand bible studies, conferences, verses and yes - the Holy Spirit and then "flee immorality". Yes, if someone is going to get hurt because you and I turn and run like the wind away from the sexual temptation of any kind, make sure it is not your wife or spouse or children, or most importantly - God. The brief minutes of illicit pleasure is not worth the rest of your life of grief, pain, distrust or even disease, divorce, devastation and division. 

In other words, let us defend our honor and our spouses' honor or fiancee's honor and most importantly, the honor of the Holy Spirit, Who accompanies us every time we sin against God. This is the reason the Bible tells us to never "grieve the Holy Spirit". I have seen too many people give in and bring personal grief and sadness upon themselves just to do whatever they wish to do. Everyone reading this knows exactly what God expects and even if a person is not a Christian, we still have a conscience to know that adultery, lust, pornography, fornication and agreeing with the disgusting lifestyles we see in movies, books and television are dead wrong and ungodly. 

Here is the final word on this, from the Word of God "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles (those who are not Christians) who do not know God (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

We are all sinful people by nature. We are weak, even the strongest and most faithful Christians among us. Yet, because we have the Same Power that raised Jesus from the dead in us, we can prevail. We can prevail if we follow these biblical precepts - a healthy mind in a healthy body and a Mind that is set on Christ, Who gave His Life for us. If we follow these simple, yet disciplined things, we will have such a peaceful, wonderful life ahead of us. May the Good Lord always keep us in His Will, His perfect Will, so we won't be in His Way. 

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