THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#03-09106
New Jerusalem #16.
A Pillar in the Temple
October 2, 2009
As presented in the previous issue, Jesus defined the spiritual meaning of the word naos . He referred to
His body as the temple of God that was raised up from among the dead (John 2:19, 21).
Paul carried this thought forward to include the body of Christ, a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is
growing into a holy temple in the Lord, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ
Himself being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 19-22). This temple not only is the Christ, the Anointed,
but also is the Lambkin, New Jerusalem, the holy city in which God dwells.
New Jerusalem is the temple of God; it is the Most Holy Place where the Lord God Almighty dwells
among His sons in glory (Revelation 21:3, 7, 22). At the consummation of the eons or, as some call it,
Creation’s Jubilee, New Jerusalem will overtake the entire new earth and extend into and become all of
God’s creation.
Once we are clear that New Jerusalem is the temple of God, we can consider a specific word to the
conquerors who will enter into this glorious temple-relationship as the first fruits anointed, the first
troop of the out-resurrection and transfiguration (1 Corinthians 15:23). In other words, the conquerors
will be the first to be part of the new creation that rules with Christ in the eon to come.
In His letters to the seven ecclesias, Jesus made special promises to those who are conquering while in
bodies of death (mortal bodies). One of the greatest promises is made to the conquerors identified with
the ecclesia at Philadelphia; however, we need to realize that all the promises of Revelation 2-3 apply to
all the conquerors of the ecclesia of God down through the centuries.
Him that overcometh [conquers] will I make a pillar [stulos] in the temple [naos] of my God ,
and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the
name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem , which cometh down out of heaven
from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Revelation 3:12 KJV)
Again, as presented in the previous issue, we need to establish in our hearts that New Jerusalem is the
temple of God; otherwise, as we consider the above verse, we might be tempted to think that the temple
and New Jerusalem are separate spiritual entities, which they are not.
I believe our Lord Jesus purposely joined the city and the name in this promise to ensure we
understand that the temple, the city, and New Jerusalem are inseparable and need to be understood as
one. There is only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one God and Father who is over all and through
all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6).
However, the Lord injected a promise to the conquerors that I have not written about previously; it is
the promise to become a pillar in the temple of My God.
I must confess that many years ago, I saw New Jerusalem strictly as a physical city and, as such, did not
care much for this word. Frankly, it seemed to be a boring promise. After all, who wants to become a
pillar in a temple and never be allowed to go out of it, ever? I wanted to run freely in the city and not be
stuck in some temple with balls of incense and the like. It seemed more like a life of servitude than one
of liberty. To me, it was like becoming a monk in a monastery.
Of course, I trust you realize that I never thought of literally being a physical pillar in a temple. I knew
even then that this needed to be understood as a spiritual truth. Nevertheless, it still seemed boring to
me. Well, as you can tell by my writing, I have come a long way in my understanding. Of course, this is a
spiritual verity, and it must be understood spiritual to spiritual.
True to form, Paul gives us the explanation of this promise.
(14) I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; (15) but in case I
am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the
household of God, which is the church [ecclesia] of the living God, the pillar [stulos] and
support of the truth . (1 Timothy 3:14-15 NASB)
Jesus and Paul used the same Greek word, stulos , which means “a post, that is, figuratively a support.”
But notice what type of pillar the ecclesia of the living God is now, not just in the oncoming eons. The
true ecclesia, the household of God, is the pillar and support of the truth. We need to be clear that the
temple is a spiritual temple. If you recall, as Jesus approached the cross, He encouraged His disciples
that the spirit of truth would come and abide in them after He returned to His heavenly Father.
(16) “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you
forever; (17) that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does
not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in
you.” “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the
Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me….” …“But when
He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth….” (John 14:16-17; 15:26;
16:13 NASB)
So, by placing these words from the Lord alongside His promise to the conquerors, we see that being a
pillar in the temple of God, which is New Jerusalem, speaks of the temple being filled with the spirit of
truth. In other words, there is no lie in New Jerusalem (i.e., in His people, the sons), only the truth.
John was given witness to this fact as he saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
Nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into
it…. [i.e., New Jerusalem, the temple of God] Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the
immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and
practices lying. (Revelation 21:27; 22:15 NASB)
Dear brethren, look around you; open your ears, and what do you hear? Lies! The world is filled with
lies because it denies God’s only begotten Son as the only answer to the world. The nations are living a
lie, and the apparent Jews that many Christian Zionists refuse to make jealous with the gospel of Jesus
Christ are living a lie. Let us not support the lie that the Jews of our day, the ones that reject Christ, are
God’s chosen people because of their flesh. They need Christ just as the whole world does. We cannot
ignore Jesus’ encouragement to the conquerors if we expect to reign with Him.
‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are
not, but lie―I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that
I have loved you.’ (Revelation 3:9 NASB)
We have the truth because we have the spirit of truth abiding within us. We are to hold to the truth in
this day so that we will be rewarded by becoming pillars of the truth in God’s temple, New Jerusalem, in
the next eon and by being given the honor of introducing God’s King to the world. What is the truth?
“You say correctly that I am a king. [Psalm 2:6] For this I have been born, and for this I
have come into the world, to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My
voice.” (John 18:37)
The Upward Call: #03-09106
by: Stuart H. Pouliot