Does God Want Us to Build Temples?
An old friend of mine, a fundamentalist Mormon, came here to Idaho and visited me for a couple days. Mormons (LDS) believe that temple buildings and temple ordinances are essential in fulfilling their eternal obligations to God. My friend believes that the current LDS church is not conducting their temple rituals as originally taught by Joseph Smith and other early Mormon leaders. He, and some of his fellow fundamentalists, are hoping they will find the funds to build their own temple where they will be able to conduct the rituals according to those early Mormon teachings.
I was just about to send him the following scriptures and, since we have been touching on Mormonism lately, I thought it appropriate to publish this as a blog. This message is not only directed to the Mormon people but also to Christians and Jews who think temple-building is a good thing.
In a word: no… temples, their rituals and sacrifices are no longer good. They pertain to “the works of the law:”
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Gal 2:16).”
In Solomon's temple a veil separated the Holy of Holies from all people except and rarely the highest of the high priests. This veil represented a separation between God and man. Jesus alone has nullified this separation:
“… we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil… (Hebr 10:10-20)”
By Jesus Christ, alone, the veil is rent and we have a new and living way:
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain [tore apart] from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Mat 27:50-53).”
In Christ Jesus we have no need for a man-made temple. I believe we are offending God when we turn back to these “dead works” and temple rituals. Jesus prayed that we, as believers in Christ, would “be one” with Him and the Father. Speaking to the Father, Jesus said:
“Neither pray I for these [apostles] alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one… (John 17:20-23)”
The Bible teaches us plainly that this perfect oneness, this marriage between Israel, the Church, Jesus Christ, and the Father does not include a temple:
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God:.. and [it] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel... And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb… And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (Rev 21: 9-22)”
Posted by Clark Callear