"Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, 'Hear the word of the Lord all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!' " Jeremiah 7:2
Jeremiah was appointed by God to tell His people that they had forsaken Him and were in a backslidden spiritual condition, worshiping false gods and whoring after the world. The prophet was to warn Israel that unless they repented, their enemies would destroy them and all that they possessed.
So it is today, the body of Christ has forsaken the Lord and built for themselves great and mighty cathedrals of complacency, filled with the lost who have never heard the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that is able to save their souls! If the prophet Jeremiah would enter our churches today, what would he find? Undying devotion to the Lord, or a dead ritualistic religion that worships the works of their own hands? When the Spirit of God is not present, the works of the flesh take over, replacing the ministry of Jesus with entertainment, programs and a consumer driven atmosphere of dead works!
Where there is no spiritual life, there is death, a dry and dusty mausoleum of good intentions brought about by the absence of God and the fleshly works of a body of dry bones, scorched by false teachings and doctrines of demons that they have been subjected to. By worshiping men and elevating the flesh and idolizing "Their Church" as if it were theirs, they have built for themselves a veritable temple of doom!
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Amend (repent) your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place "Do not trust in these lying words, 'Saying, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.' " Jeremiah 7:3,4
AMEND YOUR WAYS
"Do not trust in these lying words, saying, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.' "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment (justice) between a man and his neighbor, "if you do not oppress the stranger, (immigrants) the fatherless and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood (abortion-55 million and counting) in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, "then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever." Jeremiah 7:4-7
Obviously Jeremiah wasn't too popular with the people of God, nor was he invited to preach in their synagogues as would be the case today, because he would totally offend the congregations of backslidden pew-sitters, unconcerned with their spiritual condition.
God's people were all about the temple, the central meeting place and dwelling of the Most High as they are today, thinking that God would actually live in a building made with human hands. Worship consisted of showing up and living your life for yourself, looking one way to your brethren but in your heart setting an ambush for your neighbor. Because the body of Christ is so splintered today, each little sheep pen must raise its own overhead to support itself so you can't offend tithers by telling them they are sinners or they will quit giving or leave. The outcome of this dismal model is a church full of ignorant lost people thinking that if they just show up that God will be pleased.
God's dwelling place is in us, the true temple of the Lord and it must be kept clean and pure for the Most High to live there. The purpose of the fiery prophet's preaching was to cleanse the people of God and to awaken their conscience to repent of their wicked ways and to be cleansed of their sins and transgressions committed against Him.
"Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, "and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations?' " Jeremiah 7:9,10
A DEN OF THIEVES
"Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I have seen it." says the Lord." Jeremiah 7:11
Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and went into the temple and drove out all those who bought and sold there and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold sacrifices. It seemed the temple had become a house of merchandise rather than a house of prayer and worship to God.
What would Jesus find today if He entered one of our worship services, Starbucks in the foyer, book stores, tape tables and worldly talk of business done the previous week? When we assemble as the body of Christ we are a holy temple of the Most High, pure and undefiled, set apart to worship this awesome name, the Lord our God! In one accord our thoughts and minds should be cleared of all worldliness and be stayed on Him! But sadly in most cases we stand and sing, hear a sermonette to build everyone up to make it through another week on the treadmill of life, write a check, pray and go to lunch!
Today in most cases and in most churches, someone like Jesus wouldn't be welcome in our accurately timed and orderly services, geared for those who don't know or care for the things of God. Seekers, big tithers, church bosses and businessmen would throw a fit if someone disturbed their little service by casting out demons, healing the sick and by preaching a gospel of repentance which would bring down sinners to their knees! This prophecy in Jeremiah is in actuality about the future, describing what Jesus was going do in the New Testament times as He entered His own temple! Are you ready for a visitation?
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of thieves.' " Matthew 21:12,13
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin