Christian Churches of God
Sanctification of the Temple of God
(Edition 2.0 19980307-20000408-20071110)
Israel was commanded to sanctify the Temple prior to the Passover. There was a process of sanctification leading up to the Passover. In some cases, the Passover was actually delayed because this sanctification was not done correctly. The significance of the process has serious implications for Christianity.
Sanctification of the Temple of God
Prior to the Passover, we are told to keep the first day of Nisan as a day of solemn assembly (see the paper The Moon and the New Year (No. 213)).
The restoration of the worship of the Living God commences with the House of God and from the priesthood. Preparation starts from 1 Nisan.
The story of Hezekiah shows that the Temple often lapsed into uncleanness. When he began to reign, he commenced his restoration from the first day of the Sacred Year.
2Chronicles 29:1-11 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, 5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. 8 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. 9 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. 11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense. (KJV)
Hezekiah started with the House of God and with the priests of the House of God because that is where the problem arose in the first place. He started from the east because that was where the prince was to enter the sanctuary, and that has symbolic aspect in relation to Messiah and the Holy Spirit.
2Chronicles 29:16-19 And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. 17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof. 19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD. (KJV)
The restoration had to take place because the ongoing process was not in effect and the Temple had become profaned. The priesthood were the chief cause of this lapse in the nation, and the northern part of the nation was in virtual captivity because of it.
The sanctification was rendered so difficult because of the state of the Temple and because the priesthood had become so defiled. It was the king’s responsibility to ensure that the Levites had not allowed this to happen. Hezekiah was raised up to rectify this matter.
They had sanctified the House of the Lord in eight days; yet it took them sixteen days to make a full sanctification and so they were two days late for the Passover. They offered the sacrifices of the nation but it was still too late.
2Chronicles 29:20-33 Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. 21 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 23 And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them: 24 And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. 28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. 31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. 33 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. (KJV)
Not only had they let the Temple lapse into an unfit state, but also the number of priests was too few and the Levites had to help them. The Levites were in fact more upright in heart than the priests. This was the case in the twentieth century.
2Chronicles 29:34-36 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 35 And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order. 36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly. (KJV)
God restored Judah without warning. When God acts it is done on His will in accordance with His timing. God prepared the people. It was not solely the act of the people themselves.
The decision to keep the Passover in the second month as provided for in the Law was made by the king and the congregation (see the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)).
2Chronicles 30:1-6 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. 5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. 6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. (KJV)
The Assyrians had defeated the Israelites and the northern tribes were decimated. Judah called Israel to repentance by keeping the Passover and sanctifying themselves, but the ten tribes would not do so, and as a result they went into captivity beyond the Araxes. Had they done so they would have again returned to Israel.
Most of the remnants of the tribes, largely of Ephraim and Manasseh and Zebulun, laughed Judah to scorn when asked to repent.
Nevertheless, there assembled a large number of Jews, and some of the tribes of Issachar, Manasseh and Zebulun came to Jerusalem and humbled themselves before God (2Chr. 30:9-11).
2Chronicles 30:13-20 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. 14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron. 15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. 16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD. 18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one 19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. (KJV)
This healing by God was done on the request of the spiritual leaders of Israel.
2Chronicles 30:21-22 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. 22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers. (KJV)
We see here that the Feast of the Passover was seven days with services.
2Chronicles 30:23-26 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. (KJV)
The sanctification of the priesthood today is done with one sacrifice – namely, Jesus Christ.
(cf. the paper Messiah and the Red Heifer (No. 216)).
The restoration began with the sanctification of the Temple as the House of God and extended throughout the priesthood and Levites to the nation. Then, from the Passover, the nation was cleansed of its idolatry.
2Chronicles 31:1-12 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities. 2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD. 3 He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. 4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. 5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. 6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps. 7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store. 11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them, 12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next. (KJV)
By faith in the tithe system the priesthood is fed. If we follow God’s Law, He will protect us.
From the restoration of the Passover, following on from the sanctification, the daily offerings and the Sabbaths and the New Moons and the Holy Days were kept. The tithes were kept and the offerings were kept and the people prospered over the harvests of the third month (Pentecost), and of the seventh month (Tabernacles), and there was abundance left to be stored in the chambers of the House of God.
The seventh year was the responsibility of the people to provide enough through freewill offerings for the functioning of the work of God.
There were seven great Passovers of the Bible (cf. the paper The Seven Great Passovers of the Bible (No. 107)), and ten significant instances or references of observances of the Feast (Ex. 12:28; Num. 9:5; Jos. 5:10; 2Chr. 30:13-15 and 35:1; 2Kgs. 23:22; Ezra 6:19; Mat. 26:17; Lk. 2:41; Jn. 2:13; 6:4).
The first process for the Passover is, however, from the First of the First month and the sanctification.
The First day of the First month is a day of solemn assembly. It is a day of significance, as we see from Genesis 8:13.
There are six major events that commenced from the First day of the First month. This calendar long preceded the Law at Sinai.
The first event was the restoration of the Earth under Noah and the drying up of the waters, enabling the covers to be removed from the Ark (Gen. 8:13). This whole concept makes nonsense of the so-called Noahide laws of the Pharisees, and we will deal with these issues separately.
Genesis 8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. (KJV)
God restored the planet from the First day of the First month – now we see how important 1 Abib (Nisan) is in the Plan of God. See the paper Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183) for the tithing system of the first-fruits from Adam.
The next major event was the setting up of the Tabernacle by Moses (Ex. 40:2).
Exodus 40:1-17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 3 And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail. 4 And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof. 5 And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle. 6 And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 7 And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein. 8 And thou shalt set up the court round about, and hang up the hanging at the court gate. 9 And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. 10 And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. 11 And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it. 12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. 13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 14 And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: 15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. 16 Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he. 17 And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. (KJV)
We see here the foreshadowing of baptism and the garments of the white robes washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, which sanctified and set up the Tabernacle or Temple and the vessels for its use.
Thus, the restoration and the sanctification of the priesthood and the Temple commence from the First day of the First month. The fourteen-day period is the cleansing of the Temple.
This restoration of Hezekiah commenced with the First day of the First month called Abib or Nisan (2Chr. 29:17).
The next restoration was the going up of Ezra (Ezra 7:9) for the restoration of the second Temple. The giving up of strange wives was also effected as a part of the restoration on this day under Ezra (Ezra 10:17). The importance of this is because the wives were idolatrous, and we are brides of Christ in and as the Temple.
Ezekiel requires that this day is the day of the sacrifice of the Temple and the bullock (Ezek. 45:18).
Ezekiel 45:16-25 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. 18 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: 19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. 21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. 23 And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering. 24 And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah. 25 In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil. (KJV)
Here we see that the seven days of Unleavened Bread start on 15 Nisan.
This future Temple of Ezekiel looks to the restoration of the Sabbaths, the New Moons and the Feasts.
The New Moons are clearly seen as and with the Sabbaths as non-working days of worship in the biblical system.
Ezekiel 46:1-6 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. 5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. (KJV)
Thus, the New Moons have to be kept as non-working days, and the commencement of the process of sanctification of the Temple began with the first New Moon of the year, which was the New Moon of Abib. This sanctification process then went to the Seventh day of the First month, which was the sanctification for those that were simple or in error and could not be relied on to sanctify themselves. Thus all Israel could then partake of the Passover. If the priesthood did not do it correctly, as was the case with Hezekiah’s restoration, the second Passover had to be kept.
The second Passover is mentioned in Numbers 9:6-13.
Numbers 9:6-13 And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: 7 And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel? 8 And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you. 9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. 11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. (KJV)
Each person must keep the Passover and prepare him or herself. If a baptised member is fit and not on a journey and does not keep the Passover, they are to be cut off and removed from their people. The appropriate response in the eras of the Church is to be removed from the Church.
This preparation commences with the first of Abib as a solemn Feast day (cf. Ps. 81:3-5).
The Temple priesthood kept the New Moons as Sabbaths for the entire period of the Temple until its destruction in 70 CE. Josephus records this in his work The Wars of the Jews (Book V, Ch. V, 7). Ezekiel shows the New Moon is regarded as a Sabbath or non-working day (as we see from Ezekiel 46:1 and also from Amos 8:5, where no trading was allowed). Isaiah shows that the New Moons will be kept in the millennial system under Messiah (Isa. 66:23).
The New Moon of the First month is the necessary beginning to the sanctification process of the Temple.
The question then arises: How are we, the Church, sanctified?
Sanctification comes from God.
Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (KJV)
Thus, the Sabbaths of the Lord are a sign that the Lord sanctifies us.
The first-born of Israel are sanctified.
Exodus 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. (KJV)
However, we see that all Israel is in fact sanctified.
Exodus 19:10-14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. 14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. (KJV)
Moses could go to the mountain but the people could not. We in the Church can go boldly before the Throne of God, but those not called according to the Father’s purpose at this time cannot do so. However, we of the Church pray and fast on behalf of the unbaptised and those in ignorance, and especially so on 7 Abib. What the baptised members of the Church ask for in union is bound in Heaven and on Earth. What the unbaptised ask for is used to bring them to baptism and receipt of the Holy Spirit as it falls within the Plan of God. The distinction between Moses and the congregation of Israel serves to illustrate this distinction between the elect and the people of all nations.
There is a sequence of sanctification. The first-born of Israel is sanctified, and then Israel itself is sanctified in its entirety to meet the Face of God, or the Angel of the Presence we know as Jesus Christ.
The Temple is sanctified from the First of the First month and “we are that Temple”.
1Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (KJV)
This is the Temple in which God dwells in us through the Holy Spirit.
1Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; (RSV)
So then, the physical Temple looked forward to the spiritual Temple, which we are. The physical Temple has no right to partake of the altar from which we partake being partakers of Christ. For so too Moses looked forward to Christ and his House whom we are.
Hebrews 3:1-6 Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2 He was faithful to him who appointed him, [lit. made him] just as Moses also was faithful in God's house. 3 Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. 4 (For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope. (RSV)
Thus, we are the household of God, being of the household of Christ.
The household of the King is destined to become elohim as the Angel of Yahovah at our head (Zech. 12:8).
Zechariah 12:8 On that day the LORD will put a shield about the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, at their head. (RSV)
So, it is the responsibility of every person to sanctify him or herself from the First day of the First month for the Passover.
On the Seventh day of the First month each and every person is to sanctify themselves for the simple and the erroneous of the nation so that all may live to God in Christ (see the paper Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 291)).
Hebrews 3:7-19 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, when you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, `They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.' 11 As I swore in my wrath, `They shall never enter my rest.'" 12 Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end, 15 while it is said, "Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." 16 Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. (RSV)
The quotes here were from Psalm 95:7b-11 in the Septuagint.
Thus, the rest of God is derived from freedom from sin in rebellion. They err in their hearts and they have not known God’s ways.
The sanctification process is not one of outward cleansing, but rather one of inward cleansing. That is the hardest of all.
Material things are sanctified by anointing (Ex. 40:9-11).
However, the Lord sanctifies us (Ex. 31:13; Lev. 20:8; 21:8; 22:9). The altar sanctifies the gift.
Exodus 29:37 Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar, and consecrate it, and the altar shall be most holy; whatever touches the altar shall become holy. (RSV)
So also do the utensils that serve the altar become holy and whatever touches them.
Exodus 30:29 you shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them will become holy. (RSV)
However, it is the Tabernacle that is sanctified by God’s presence (Ex. 29:43).
Exodus 29:43 There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory; (RSV)
Exodus 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (RSV)
Thus, the presence of God is the thing that sanctifies the Temple and makes it holy.
The presence of God in the elect as the Holy Spirit, and the body of Messiah as the Temple of God, are holy in all aspects. It makes all who come in contact with it holy.
Thus, the Body of Christ as the Temple of God must be sanctified prior to taking the Passover. That is why the First of the First month is the commencement of the sanctification process. This process of cleansing, sanctification, offering and commemoration lasts 21 days.
Christ cleansed this Temple prior to the Passover as a warning and a sign to us that we too had to cleanse the Temple to be worthy to partake of the sacrifice of Messiah as his body and blood. The days of the cleansing of the Temple are dealt with in the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159).
All of the sanctification Scriptures and the purification legislation (say, for example, in Lev. 21:1-23) relate to and look forward to the concepts of death and life in the resurrection. Thus, the health aspects of quarantine are secondary to the concepts of life and death through baptism and repentance, and the induction into the Body of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
So also does God ordain and sanctify the prophets and the elect before they were formed in the womb, as with Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5).
Ephesians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (KJV)
By this we are elect and sanctified.
1Peter 1:2 chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (RSV)
Hence, we are partakers of the divine nature (2Pet. 1:2-4).
Through the love of Christ, we are filled with God.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (KJV)
God likewise sanctifies Israel through Christ as an example to the Gentiles when His sanctuary will be among them forever more (Ezek. 37:28). That example is now, but will not be fully understood until the return of Messiah.
We are all given grace according to the gift of Christ.
Ephesians 4:7 But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. (RSV)
We were given this gift for the perfecting of us all.
Ephesians 4:12-16 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. (RSV)
If we confess our sins, he forgives our sins.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (RSV)
He is able to keep us from falling and present us before God on that day (Jude 1).
He who sanctifies and we who are sanctified are all of one origin, and that is why he is not ashamed to call us brothers.
Hebrews 2:11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (RSV)
We are sanctified in the truth in love. For our sakes Christ sanctified himself, and in like manner we also are to sanctify ourselves in the truth, which is the word of God (Jn. 17:17).
Acts 26:15-18 shows us the sanctification from darkness under Satan to light and forgiveness and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith.
Acts 26:15-18 And I said, `Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, `I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles -- to whom I send you 18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (RSV)
Thus, when we are persecuted Christ is persecuted. He calls whom God gives him to accomplish the work, and each of us is sanctified by faith.
We are to give ourselves for each other and not just as partners but also as the elect.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (RSV)
This sanctification is extended by our actions to the Gentiles as part of the Temple of God.
Romans 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (RSV)
And they were sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints (1Cor. 1:2; cf. Col. 2:11; 1Thes. 4:3; 5:23; 2Thes. 2:13-14).
1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (KJV)
We are to be sanctified with Christ for God’s purpose (2Tim. 2:21).
2Timothy 2:21 If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. (RSV)
Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (RSV)
We are consecrated by the blood of the Lamb and are come out of great tribulation.
Revelation 7:13-17 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?" 14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (RSV)
Christ did this by one offering once and for all, and forever perfected us that are sanctified (cf. Heb. 13:12, 21).
Hebrews 10:10-14 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (RSV)
Thus we no longer offer sacrifice, but by our service and worship we offer spiritual sacrifices and offerings, which are received on high by the council as collective offerings.
Revelation 5:8-10 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; 9 and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth." (RSV)
So, the process of sanctification of the Temple is no less important than the act of partaking of the Temple, because each person must render themselves fit in the Holy Spirit to partake of the body and blood of Christ. Also, the double responsibility rests on them to sanctify those who err and are not yet strong and knowledgeable in the Faith to undertake the process of and by themselves.
The First and the Seventh of the First month are as integral to the Passover as are the Days of the Passover and Unleavened Bread themselves.
The first elements, however, are the responsibility of the individual and the ministry. The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread are the collective responsibility of the Church as the Temple in the active and collective worship of God.
These days have been neglected too long. It is time for the restoration of these days to their proper importance in the structure of the Plan of God and His system of worship.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369 Woden, ACT 2606 Australia
E-mail: CCG Secretary
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