Response by Bob Parham
This is another reason that is connected to the Temple being non-existent. Since the Temple has been destroyed, some believe that Yah’s presence is no longer in Jerusalem, so there is no reason to go there.
Please be careful to not let this come out of your mouth.
Ezekiel Chapters 8 and 9 tell of many ungodly things that were being said and taking place concerning Jerusalem. The Eternal and Unchanging Yah said then that He would return and confront them with His wrath. He will deal no differently with such people today.
Take a look at one of the things being said of Jerusalem by these ungodly people. Pay special attention to Ezek 8: 12 and 9:9
Ezekiel 8 (NCV) – (3 ) He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me [Ezra, the prophet] by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. (4) And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain…… (12) Then he said to me, “Human, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the dark? Have you seen each man in the room of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us. The Lord has left the land.’” (13) He also said to me, “You will see even more hateful things that they are doing.”
Ezekiel 9 (NCV) – (9) Then he said to me, “The sin of the people of Israel and Judah is very great. The land is filled with people who murder, and the city is full of people who are not fair. The people say, ‘The Lord has left the land, and the Lord does not see.’ (10) But I will have no pity, nor will I show mercy. I will bring their evil back on their heads.”
Obviously, Yah’s heart and eyes were still on Jerusalem, despite its defilement and the evil behavior of the people. That’s why He noticed these things and grieved over them!
As you see in these passages, some were saying that Yah had “left the land,” even though He said He was there ‘where the seat of the idol of jealousy’ was located. You can’t get much more defiled than having an idol smack in the middle of Yah’s Temple, yet YHWH WAS STILL THERE.
YHWH is an Elohim who keeps his promises. If He said His Presence is in that place for ever, should we make Him out to be a liar? He takes the Land – and His Presence in the Land – very seriously. I believe we should, too.
When we disregard the commands to appear in Jerusalem for the Feasts, we are doing just what those people in Ezra’s day did: “We don’t have to obey. God won’t care and doesn’t even notice. He has left that land.”
The following verse tells us how He will respond to such things being said and done.
Ezekiel 8:18 (NCV) – So I will act in anger. I will have no pity, nor will I show mercy. Even if they shout in my ears, I won’t listen to them.
May we not be found among those to whom He does not listen!
We need to remember YHWH’s promise to Solomon when he dedicated the temple.
2 Chronicles 7 – (12) Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. (13) If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, (14) and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (15) Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. (16) For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
Did you know that the Temple (“this House”) was not just the building that was destroyed in 70 AD? The ENTIRE CITY of Jerusalem and all of Mount Moriah was (and is) HOLY – set apart for the worship of YHWH. Even human excrement was removed every day from the entire city so that the holiness of the city would not be lessened. According to scripture, many of the sacrifices offered at the Temple (including the Passover lamb) could be eaten anywhere within the city walls, because the ENTIRE CITY was considered to be an extension of the Temple!
Despite the fact that the city is currently defiled, the Word tells us that Yah’s heart and eyes are still there. I want to be where HE is!
The prophet Zephaniah was the great-great-great-grandson of King Hezekiah. He had this to say concerning Jerusalem:
Zephaniah 3:1-5 (NCV) –1 How terrible for the wicked, stubborn city of Jerusalem, which hurts its own people.
2 It obeys no voice; it can’t be taught to do right. It doesn’t trust the Lord; it doesn’t worship its God. 3 Its officers are like roaring lions. Its rulers are like hungry wolves that attack in the evening, and in the morning nothing is left of those they attacked. 4 Its prophets are proud; they are people who cannot be trusted. Its priests don’t respect holy things; they break God’s teachings. 5 But the Lord is good, and He is there in that city. He does no wrong. Every morning he governs the people fairly; every day He can be trusted. But evil people are not ashamed of what they do.
Did you see how evil, corrupt and defiled the city of Jerusalem is according to Zephaniah? It was much more defiled then than it is today, wouldn’t you say? But yet, YHWH’s presence was still in Jerusalem!
The people, the officers, the rulers (judges), the prophets and even the priests were wicked people who were not even ashamed of what they do! Yet YHWH was still there in the midst of them.
So, again, REMEMBER: Despite the fact that The City is currently defiled, the Word tells us that Yah’s heart and eyes are still there. Yah is faithful to keep His promises to Israel. If He said His presence would always be there, then you can know with every fiber of your being that HIS PRESENCE IS STILL THERE! I want to be where HE is, don’t you?
© Bob Parham, Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, 2016. Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Lamb’s Servant Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, as well as to the original author (in this case Bob Parham) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.