He Who Builds the Temple

“Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ’ Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ” According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬-‭17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The people of Israel became a great nation in Egypt, just as God promised them. After that, God fulfilled the work of leading them to the desert to build the tabernacle so that He would dwell among them as their God. Finally, He led them to the land of Canaan where they drove out all the Gentiles living there and occupied the land and thus fulfilled His promise to give them Canaan.

Since all of God’s words had been fulfilled, David thought that it was necessary to build a house for God to dwell with them. They did not have to move again because they came to the promised land. So he thought, ‘I am living in a palace, but God still dwells in a tent. This is not right.’

When David had this desire in his heart, God was pleased and promised, “Since you honor My name, I will also exalt your name. However, you will not build a house for Me. Because you have shed too much blood, you will not build. But your son will. Verse 13 says, “He (your son) shall build a house for My name.”

“And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever,” God promised. He went on to say, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” That is actually David’s son, David’s offspring. Yet incredibly, God says, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” He says, “He shall build a house for My name.” He is the one who shall build My house, God says.

Hence, who built the temple? Who was the person that got to build the temple? It was Solomon. But read carefully what God said. There are requirements to be the person who will build the temple. It is not just for anybody to build. God said, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” Only the Son of God, only the child of God, can do the work of building the temple.

Presently, our God does not tell just anyone to build a temple. He tells us to build the temple upon our faith. It says to ‘build up on your faith.‘ This is God speaking to His children. When God spoke about David’s son who would succeed him as king, people generally thought it was about Solomon since Solomon built the temple.

Although the physical temple was built by Solomon, God says here, “And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” It will be established forever. However, Solomon did not remain forever. Furthermore, the kingdom after Solomon did not last but collapsed after a few hundred years. Israel was divided in two; Northern Israel was defeated by Assyria, while the South was destroyed by Babylon. Therefore, the kingdom ended.

Later on, when Israel’s kingdom was restored, kings came from Herod’s family, not David’s. If we look at these things, God’s words seem to be wrong. He got it wrong. But God’s word can never be wrong nor make a mistake. So, that means it was not actually about Solomon. The promise God made back then was not Solomon but another figure. It was not Solomon who would establish it.

God said, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” So, who is God’s Son? He is the One that will continue the kingdom and build the temple. Who is God’s Son? When Jesus was baptized, a voice said, “This is My beloved Son.” This means ‘He is the One who will build My temple.’ He is the One who will establish the everlasting temple. How did He build the temple? By shedding His blood, He built the temple. His resurrected body became the temple.

The body of Jesus, after He was resurrected, became the temple, and we also are the temples. Why are we the temples? Because we became the parts of Jesus’ body who resurrected. Therefore, we became temples along with Him. Although we say, “I am a temple,” we cannot say that apart from Jesus. In John 2:19, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up.” It said He was speaking of His body being the temple. But what about us being the temple? Yes, since we belong to Jesus who has resurrected, and everyone who belongs to Him is a member of His body. Therefore, the members of His body are all temples.

Ultimately, it was Jesus who built the temple. He continued the throne of David’s kingdom. And His throne is that of the everlasting King. This is God’s Son. The promise of God was thus fulfilled. What else did God say about the Son? “If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.“ When did Solomon ever get beaten by men with rods? There were not many occasions where people attacked him, war against him or overthrew him. No other king died so peacefully as Solomon.

So, did Jesus sin? No, He did not. That is why God says, “If he commits iniquity.” Remember that we are reading a translated copy of the Bible. You have to take that into account each time. Just because it says, “If he commits iniquity,” people understand it as saying that he sinned. However, the original manuscript does not say just two words: “commit sin.” The whole phrase “if he commits iniquity” is one word in the original text. And the meaning of it is “he is bent over.“ But it was translated with a broader sense as “if he commits iniquity.”

In our translation, it is “if he commits iniquity.” But did Jesus commit sin? Anyway, we can interpret it as “bent over,” “troubled,” or “if sin is found in him.” Thus, it says, “If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.“ Because Jesus bore our sins, He was flogged and beaten with the rods of men.

But in verse 15, God promised, “But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” Although He will be beaten with the rods of men, His throne was not snatched away. God resurrected Him and gave Him the eternal kingdom, the throne of God’s kingdom. Thus, Jesus became King.

Therefore, today, God tells us to build the temple. The work we do by receiving the Holy Spirit is exactly this: build the temple. Thus, we need to stick with Jesus Christ, and each becomes the building attached to His temple. We are building the temple. All the work we are doing is building the temple. When souls are won over one by one, the dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit is increasing, which in turn expands the scope in which God can freely do His work. We are building the temple.

Who does this work? Only those that belong to the Son of God. Thus, all the work we do cannot be done unless we become God’s son. Someone came today with an interest in the mission and wants to do mission work. But has he been baptized? Did He receive the Holy Spirit? He has not been baptized, has he? He has not received the Holy Spirit. This is ridiculous. He does not even know these things. He has not even become a child of God yet, so what work can he do? Then, we cannot just believe every word he says. The fact that he has such ideas is strange.

So, first of all, those who are to build the temple must be God’s children. That is how God’s word is fulfilled. Today, we have received the Holy Spirit. God puts His name inside us and uses us in the work of building the temple because God has already acknowledged us as God’s children. Therefore, we need to give all our efforts to this continuing work of building the temple.

Since this is fulfilled on the earth, it will also be fulfilled in heaven. One day, Jesus will reappear when this work is done. When this work cannot be done anymore on the earth, when the work is stopped, Jesus will return because no more will be built. There will be no need for this earth then. Let us pray and ask God to use us for the building of His temple.

Thank You, God, our Father, for entrusting us with this task of building the temple. You entrusted David and his house with this task, and the Lord lifted up their name and established their throne. Likewise, bless and establish the thrones of those who seek the Lord’s kingdom and righteousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on November 8, 2012
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team