House of Prayer and Worship

The people were asking, “Just WHO is this man who is stirring everything up in Jerusalem?” Many had heard of Jesus and the miracles He had done, but to many He was still somewhat of a curiosity.

Can you imagine His disciples, following Him as they are entering Jerusalem for the Passover, one of the most Holiest of Jewish celebrations, and they are watching Him and listening to Him. On the journey, they were probably also talking among themselves about the upcoming celebration.

Can you imagine what they must have thought while watching His every move as He surveyed the Temple, His Father’s, our Father’s Temple, known to all to be a house of prayer and worship to God Almighty. Then He started searching around for cord and started feverishly to intertwine it into the corded whip that He intended it to become. His disciples must have wondered what in the world is He making and for what purpose. Wouldn’t you wonder? You’ve been hanging on His every word, excited about the prospects of the upcoming celebration of worship and He becomes silent, focused AND driven to what He has purposed in His mind.

I can imagine that while He is working to construct the simple corded whip that His gaze was wandering around to the different stalls and the exchanges going on and the general hub-bub of what a busy place of commerce might portray. Imagine the birds squawking or cooing, the goats and the sheep bleating loudly, the oxen lowing loudly and joining in the cacophony of sounds that the money changers were engaged in. I can’t imagine that it was muted and still, but rather the sounds of everyone there vying for a spot to do business for the upcoming festivities.

Can you even begin to imagine the thoughts that MUST have been going through the mind of God’s Son at that moment while standing within the Holy Temple? What could His disciples have been thinking of and wondering about while watching what He was doing and constructing? They had to have been asking each other among themselves what He had stopped to do. Wouldn’t you?

They most certainly could tell that His demeanor had changed, His countenance darker than normal and especially in what to them seemed like normal preparation for the upcoming Passover. For this “business” was not new, but had become the custom in preparation for the Passover. But this was the first time that the disciples were preparing to celebrate with their Master, Jesus in Jerusalem. You can imagine, they were all a bit excited about the prospect, but then Jesus is silent and yet evidently upset about something.

Then, they see Him rise or step forward. He might have paused a moment to again take in the surrounding chaos and then with determination started walking towards the tables of the nearest money-changers. With all the commotion, no one but the disciples noticed this man coming forth. Only they noticed the fervor on His countenance and the surety of His footing.

They HAD to have wondered in amazement what had come over Him. Then quicker than they could imagine, He grabbed the edge of one of the tables piled high with coin where the money changers were sitting on the opposite side and with one strong lift up, He turned the tables unto the laps of those men of commerce, coins scattering all over the place, tablets of accounts and such going every which way and they must have been immediately, shocked, stunned and disoriented as to what had just happened.

Then looking up, they saw a man with a corded whip raised above His head and you can only imagine the scramble that took place at that time. They were so confused and disoriented that they barely heard the words coming out of Him as His righteous anger spilled forth in the condemnation of what they had done to His Father’s House of prayer and worship!

After that, He turned His attention to the animals filling every available space of this glorious temple and He started to drive them out. The very merchandise, that was the profit-making enterprise of these merchants was being scattered out beyond the Temple!

I am almost positive that as He drove the animals out through the Temple gates, His anger subsided and the animals were herded out beyond the Temple walls. But, the anger and zeal He felt toward what had become of His Father’s House was too much and I am sure, He turned back to the crowds and the merchants and uttered those famous words we are so familiar with now:

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 21:13.

(Jesus) “saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'” – Luke 19:46.

And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” – John 2:16.

Jesus referred to what was written in Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.

The thing is, to the consternation of the Jewish religious leaders, it didn’t stop there. Jesus began to teach daily in that very Temple. Of course, the Jewish leaders wanted answers.

So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.” – John 2:18-22.

The disciples also remembered later what was written in the Scriptures in Psalm 69:9 and referenced it when the Apostle John wrote: “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.'” – John 2:17.

The Bible goes on to tell us:

“Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” – Matthew 21:14-16.

“And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” – Luke 19:47-48.

Great story. I remember hear it preached when I was in my late teens and referencing Jesus’ “righteous anger.” Today however, almost 50 years later and watching the world and the nation I live in descend into chaos, it has a much different connotation. I see a whole new depth and meaning to this recounted story than I have usually heard preached.

I have also watched for literally decades, church institutions abandon the SPIRIT of the Word of God, the Holy Bible, for interpretations that only justify their modern thinking and actions rather than changing them as people from the inside out. The Word of God does NOT change. I am sounding like a broken record every time I state that. It is not the wording or the translation I am talking about either, it is the SPIRIT behind the words. That is why it is spiritually discerned and it is spiritually alive! The Bible does not change, but it IS supposed to change us; more and more into the people that are in God’s likeness in Character and Nature!

When I look at the church world around me, the institutions of religion, filled with politics and defining their denominations behaviors and doctrinal beliefs, I see buildings that are filled, for the most part, exactly what Jesus stated of the religious leaders of His day, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” – Matthew 23:27-28.

This does NOT describe every institutional church, everywhere in the world, but sadly, the churches this does NOT describe are the exceptions! How is it, that we have God’s written Word and yet, the very thing that Jesus came to condemn and make right, is the very thing that even today, under the age and dispensation of Grace, we have still turned God’s House into?

Whether anyone believes me or not, I stand on the Word of God. When the spiritual becomes institutionalized, it is only a matter of time before it becomes religious and loses all its spirituality and thus its anointing and power! The Apostle Paul told his protégé Timothy that this would exactly come about and it was a direct mirror to what Jesus called the religious leaders of His day, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Notice that the Apostle Paul is talking about the nature of men in the last days. They shall APPEAR religious. Religion and a religious attitude or nature is not necessarily SPIRITUAL! Believe it or not, true spirituality resides in God Almighty and not in the “supernatural.” Those who ABIDE in Christ and the Father, those who have the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus abiding in them ARE spiritual because they have been spiritually reborn! You do NOT become spiritual by worshipping Buddha or Mohammed or Krishna or any other false deity, ONLY by worshipping and abiding in God, the Father Who IS Spirit!

I know I use this favored Scripture often, but it speaks so much to the Truth of why we are the Spiritual creation that we are in Christ Jesus. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24.

I’m sorry if this next sentence offends you, but to state the obvious, “the truth shall set you free!” (John 8:32). Religion today, is BIG business.

Religion annually contributes about $1.2 trillion dollars of socio-economic value to the United States economy, according to a 2016 study by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. That is equivalent to being the world’s 15th-largest national economy, outpacing nearly 180 other countries and territories. It’s more than the global annual revenues of the world’s top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Google. [1]

Now this is just ONE reference I found through Bing. There are literally hundreds!

I’ve taught a lot on it lately, namely, the Body of Christ, the TRUE Church. A Church that is a spiritual entity with Jesus Christ as the Head and the individual member-believers that make up the ministries He has assigned. Parts of His Church are everywhere throughout the world. There is NO one nation that can claim the Church or Bride of Christ.

But as I stated in a recent ministry video I created, there are many institutions that would like to be identified with the True Church of God, unfortunately, they fall into that very category that Paul warned Timothy about. We are seeing the Bible unfold before our very eyes in this day and age.

Those of you who have been following my teachings and my posts for a while, know that I have said more than once something BIG is on the horizon. Well people, in a few months we shall see. I have said that God WILL judge unrighteous nations eventually. Though He is longsuffering and patient, He CANNOT go against His own word. It will be more severe to those nations whose motto is “In God We Trust,” for they are claiming a relationship with the Almighty at the same time they are rejecting Him.

But before He judges the nation, He will put His True Church to the test. We WILL be pressed and squeezed as in a winepress, but what will come out will be pure and undefiled AND it will demonstrate the power and the richness of what was meant to be! Now, do not panic, because this testing is not meant to destroy His children, His chosen, but rather to refine us into what He can use in the coming judgment of nations.

I am not telling you anything that you cannot see in the Word of God for yourselves. We will not know the day nor hour of the Lord’s return, but we WILL know the season as He plainly spoke in parable about what should take place. People, the season is at hand. The evidences, NOT just the signs are all there. You can read them all for yourselves in Matthew 24 onward.

God’s True Church does not have to fear, but we have to be aware. God’s Temple today is abiding in our hearts and souls. Is His Temple within, a house of prayer and worship, or is it a big business venture? Will Jesus come through the clouds when the trumpet sounds and find commerce going on in our hearts, or worship? Only each individual can answer that.

The time is at hand for us to keep looking up and watching the clouds and listening for that Trumpet blast. (Luke 21:28). We do not have to look with fear, but rather with anticipation for that will be a day when the Lord will show forth His glory upon the whole earth!

As the Lord told Pastor Dana Cornerstone from Kentucky in a dream, “Brace yourself, brace yourself, brace yourself,” but at the same time, we do not have to fear. God’s plan is unfolding and we are a part of history like in no other time!!

I for one am exclaiming, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” Join me in praying for God’s perfect will and plan to unfold! Pray for the true saints of God. Pray for the lost! Amen and AMEN!

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 49+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
This entry was posted in Pastor's Desk and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to House of Prayer and Worship

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Happy 4th of July

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.