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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


The Kingdom Of God

When God Cleans House

Mark 11.15-19

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A.   The Profaning Of The Temple (vs 17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. Our Lord Jesus Christ has come into the temple and as He entered He could not help but notice that the temple had become something other than it was intended to be. 

He could not help but notice all the noise and all the bartering going on.  Someone who would come to the temple from a long distance would have sold their sacrifices with the intent of buying animals to sacrifice in the temple for the sake of worship.  But they would have to first go to the money changers and change their Roman coin into Temple coin, for a charge of course.  Then they would have to go and purchase the animals for their worship sacrifices, at exorbitant prices.  Then after all of that distraction and frustration they could go make their sacrifices of praise, hardly an atmosphere of glad worship.  Would there be any praise left in them after all of that.

Then if they had any temple coin remaining they would have to go change it back into Roman coin, for another charge, before they could leave.

Our Lord, seeing all of this had seen all that He could bear.  He went and made a scourge, a cat of nine tales, and began to chase out the Money changers.  Our Lord scattered the animals, let loose the doves, and turned over the money changers table. 

Now in our day, some would suggest that Jesus needed to go for some anger management classes.  However the Word of God says,

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Folks, contrary to popular belief it is possible to be angry and sin not.  As our Lord did (Eph 4.26).

Now that is how our Lord cleansed the Temple in His day.  But how does our Lord cleanse the temple today?  Where is the temple?

Some people might respond, “Well, this Church is the temple.”  Many think this way in our day.  But this Church is not a temple.

Do you want to know where the temple is?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

If you are a born-again Christian, then you have received the Holy Spirit of God, who is Almighty-God, and you are now the temple of God.  You, your body, is the temple of Almighty-God.

Are you profaning the Temple of God?

How do Christian profane the Temple of God?

You profane the Temple when,

1.     You bring Sin into God’s Temple (Psalm 101.7; 5.4; 1 Cor 6.9-11)

Psalm 101:7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

Psalm 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

In the New Testament,

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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.

The presence of the Holy Spirit within you sets you apart as a child of the living God, a born-again Christian, and the temple of God.  You are the dwelling place of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

You are the temple of God, your body is the dwelling place of God.  Are you profaning the temple of God by bringing presumptuous sin into your life.

2.     You bring the Secular into God’s Temple (Ezek 22.26; 1 Pet 1.15-16) – God temple is sacred, it is holy and it is to be kept holy.  To be holy means to be set apart for the work of God, for the glory of God.

Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

There is a difference between the holy and the profane.  The holy are all those that are set aside for God and His kingdom work.  The profane is everything else.  Holy things should not be viewed as ordinary, they are things that are consecrated for God.  God’s temple is to be a holy place because God is a Holy God.

1 Peter 1:15-16 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

When the temple is profane then there is but one thing to do with the temple, and our Lord does this; the temple must be purged.

B.   The Purging Of The Temple – In our text our Lord Jesus Christ is seen purging or cleansing the Temple.  How do you think our Lord will respond to a profane temple today?  Our Lord will work to keep His temple worthy of His presence.  How does our Lord Purge or cleanse His Temple.

1.     There is the Whip of Chastisement (John 2.13-15; Heb 12)

John 2:13-15 13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, . . .

Hebrews 12:5-8 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12:10-11 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

2.     There is the Work of Confusion (vs 15; 1 Cor 14.40; John 2.15-16)  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; - God is a God of order, The Bible says,

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

John 2:15-16 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

Jesus opened the bird cages.  Jesus untied the oxen and scattered the sheep.  Jesus turned over the money changers tables and the money went rolling all over the place.  Jesus brought confusion to the temple.

Has your Lord and Savior ever brought confusion into your life, which is the temple of the living God.  God has every right to overthrow the tables and chairs of defilement in your life, when you allow them into His temple, which you are as a born-again Christian.

3.     There is the Withholding of Comforts (vs 16; Haggai 1.5-7; Matt 7.11,7) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. – These vessels would have contained water and other essentials needed in the temple.  Perhaps even meal or grain often used in the temple.  All of the productive work and ceremonies of the temple were interrupted by our Lord.  Has your life ever been interrupted by God.  Perhaps you could not afford to pay for the comforts that you normally enjoy.  Perhaps your cable television or internet bills could not be paid for one reason or another, or as often happens today, these bills were inappropriately paid while your taxes or utilities went unpaid.  Now, does it make sense to have cable television and no house to put it in?  This happens more often than people know.

Would our Heavenly Father actually bring one of his children to such a state as I have described?  If they have allowed the blessing of our Lord to be used to defile the temple of our God, which temple you are.

Haggai 1:5-7 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Do you know what this means?  It means you go out and work to earn your living but no matter how much you work there is just not enough.  Why?  Because you are using what your Lord and Savior has given you to defile His temple; the temple of your life.

Your Heavenly Father wants to give good things to His children,

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

But if you are going to use what our God gives you for defilement then, WATCH OUT CHRISTIAN, for your Heavenly Father loves you far too much to allow His temple to be continuously defiled.

C.   The Purpose Of The Temple

Have you ever wondered about your purpose in life?  What is your purpose?  Why did God create you?  Why do you continue to exist?  Is your purpose to mow lawns, wash dishes, and clean the house?  Is your purpose to sell insurance, build houses and buildings, and to repair and work on motors?  Is your purpose to earn money, retire, and sit around watching television all day?

What is your purpose?  Perhaps the better question to ask is, what is God’s purpose for you?  God created you for one and only one purpose.  That is to glorify God.  That’s it that is your purpose, your whole reason for being, you are to glorify God, glorify God, Glorify God!

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Now you are the Temple of God and what is the purpose of the Temple?

1.     Your Temple is to be a place of Prayer (vs 17; Luke 18.1; 1 Thess 5.17; Philip 4.6; James 1.8) -  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? . . . – You as the temple or house of God are to be a house of prayer, so much so that all who see you, “all nations,” will say it is so.

The Golden Altar of Incense – In the Old Testament temple and in the tabernacle there was an altar called the altar of incense. And they would burn fragrant incense from that altar, and the aroma that was rising constantly toward heaven. Incense in the Bible is a picture of the believer’s prayer. And out of your heart, out of your temple, continually, is to be that sweet-smelling savor in the nostrils of God of prayer.[1]

Your temple, the temple of your life ought to be a continual house of prayer.  I don’t mean just the regular meal time prayer; I mean your prayers ought to continually be rising to your Heavenly Father.  If you do not find yourself a temple of continual prayer then you need revival and renewal.  As a born-again Christian prayer ought to be as natural and normal to you as breathing air.  Prayer ought to be as natural to you as water is to a fish and the sky is to a bird.  You ought to just find yourself constantly and continually talking to your Lord.

The Word of God says,

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Someone might ask, “How can I be constantly in prayer?”

Illustration – Here’s a mother that has a sick child. And that child has a fever and that child hurts and aches, and that mother is up all night with the children, and maybe the next day, and maybe the next night. Finally, the child goes off to a fitful sleep and the mother says, “Now I must sleep.” And she lies down to sleep and she falls into a hard sleep. And there are noises outside. The car horns are honking, a fire truck may go by, children are playing, somebody slams a door. None of that awakens her because she’s in a deep, hard sleep. But one whimper from that child, she’s awake. What does it mean? Her heart, her mind is tuned to that child. Your heart, your mind ought to be tuned to God that way.

It was said of Dwight L. Moody, he never made long prayers, but he was never long without prayer.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

We ought to pray about everything in our lives, and everything in our lives, in this temple ought to glorify God. 

Some people make the mistake of trying to divide their life into the secular and the sacred.  As a born-again Christian we are only, always sacred.  If there is something in our life that you cannot pray about because it does not glorify God then you need to repent and get it out of your life.

If you can’t pray,

        Lord bless my time in this casino, then don’t go to the casino.

        Lord bless this cigarette that I’m about to smoke, then get rid of the cigarette.

        Lord bless this alcohol I’m about to drink then don’t drink that alcohol.

        Lord bless these drugs I’m about to take then don’t do the drugs.

        Lord bless this immorality I’m about to commit, then get that immorality out of your life.

Stop trying to live a double life.  The Bible says,

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Get it into your mind that you are the temple of God and our Lord Jesus Christ will work to cleanse His temple.

2.     Your temple is to be a place of Power (Matt 21.12-14)

Matthew 21:12-14 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

Notice in Matthew’s account that after the temple was cleansed the mighty power of God was released through our Lord Jesus Christ in that purified temple.  Who here does not want the mighty power of God to be released in this Church?  But this Church is NOT the Temple of God.  This Church is the place where the many Temples of God come and gather together. 

My Christian friend if we would see the mighty of power God manifested in our Church, community, and country then the Temple of God must be cleansed and you are the temple of Almighty-God.  But the power of God cannot be released through defiled temples.

How do you cleanse your temple my Christian brothers and sisters?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You confess your sin and repent and turn from your sin.

Jesus said,

Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

How does a lost man cleanse his temple?  Well, you have to be the temple of God first.  You must be born-again.  You must receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Then you too will be the temple of the living God.

 



[1] Adrian Rogers, The Adrian Rogers Legacy Collection – Sermons, (North Palm Beach, FL: Adrian Rogers Foundation, 2011), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "When God Cleans House".

 

 

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