BY KENNETH E. HAGIN
Know ye not that YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? – 1 Corinthians 3:16
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? – 1 Corinthians 6:19
More than once, the New Testament makes mention of the fact that we are God’s temple, so I think it would do us good to study along this line. Let’s look further at what the Holy Ghost said through the Apostle Paul in Second Corinthians 6:16.
2 CORINTHIANS 6:16
16 … what agreement hath THE TEMPLE OF GOD with idols? for YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD; as God hath said, I will dwell IN them, and walk IN them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
If you study this verse carefully, you’ll discover that it has an individual application, and it also has a cooperative application. In other words, when Paul said, “Ye are the temple,” he was talking to the individual believers as well as to the whole body of believers at Corinth.
You could say it this way: Your body is the temple of God. And the Church as the Body of Christ is the temple of God!
Notice that this verse calls the believer “the temple of God.” It goes on to say, “. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell IN them…. ” You see, it’s through the Holy Spirit that God indwells or lives in us. He indwells each one of us individually, and He indwells the Church Body, which is also the temple of God.
Let’s first talk about our bodies as individual temples of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we are each the house of God! He lives in us, and we have a covenant relationship with Him. There are at least three things we should know about our covenant relationship with God in the New Testament, because we have a better covenant than believers had
under the Old Testament,
First, God is for us. Romans 8:31 says, “… If God be FOR us, who can be against us?” In the Old Testament, God was for Israel, and God is for His people today.
Second, the Bible teaches us that God is with us, just like He was with Israel. But the third point is where we see that our covenant – the New Covenant – is better: God is in us!
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel built a house for God to live in: First they built the tabernacle, and finally they built a temple. But under the New Covenant, God no longer dwells in an earth-made building within the Holy of Holies.
We sometimes call a church building “the house of God.” However, if we mean that it is God’s house because He lives there, then we are wrong. But if we mean that the church building was built for God’s glory to use for a sanctuary to worship God, then we are correct.
You see, God doesn’t indwell or live in the church building. He indwells the Body of Christ, which is His Church. He also indwells us individually because the Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19).
God’s Presence used to dwell in an earth-made temple during the Old Covenant. But when Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple that kept God’s Presence shut up within the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).
The Presence of God moved out of the earth-made Holy of Holies. Now the Shekinah Glory – the divine Presence of God – is not only for us and with us, but He is in us!
1 JOHN 4:4
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is IN you, than he that is in the world.
This verse sends a thrill through my spirit: ” . . greater is he [God] that is IN you… “! God is greater than any test or trial. He is greater than any storm or crisis. He is greater than any sickness or disease. He is greater than any demon or evil spirit. He is the Greater One!
Well, what is the Greater One doing in us? Is He just a spiritual hitchhiker, hitching a ride with us through life? No! Thank God, He is in us to put us over! He is in us to help us!
In John’s Gospel, Jesus said, ” . ..I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16).
The word “comforter” in this verse is the Greek word “paraclete.” In many other translations, the word “paraclete” is translated “helper.” It literally means one called alongside to help. However, the Spirit of God is not only called alongside to help you; He is in you!
Now let’s look at the other side of “you are the temple of God” for just a moment. Not only are you God’s temple, meaning your body, but you collectively – the Church – are also God’s temple.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:16 (Amplified)
16 Do you not discern and understand that you [THE WHOLE CHURCH at Corinth] are GOD’S TEMPLE (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you – to be at home in you [COLLECTIVELY AS A
CHURCH and also individually]?
5 … Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; WHOSE HOUSE ARE WE, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
I TIMOTHY 3:15
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in THE HOUSE OF GOD, which is THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and ground of the truth.
We’re talking about the temple of God or God’s house. Under the New Covenant, God’s “house” is the Church! So let’s look at the Holy Spirit in us collectively as the Church, which is also the temple of God.
The Amplified Bible says, “Do you not discern and understand that YOU [THE WHOLE CHURCH AT CORINTH] ARE GOD’S TEMPLE… ? ” 1 Cor. 3:16). There were many local churches in Corinth when this was written. But Paul was referring to the whole Church at Corinth – the collective Body of believers there.
Whenever a body of believers gathers together, they are also God’s temple. That’s the reason Jesus said He would be in the midst of His people whenever two or three gather in His Name (Matt. 18:20).
Now we know that Christ is in us because Colossians 1:27 says, “… CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” But on the other hand, He can be in the midst of us too. Second Corinthians 6:16 in The Amplified Bible shows us this a little more clearly.
2 CORINTHIANS 6:16 (Amplified)
16 … For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell [live or make My home] in and with and AMONG them and will walk in and with and AMONG them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Notice God said, “I will dwell in them and among them.” God not only wants to manifest Himself in us as individuals, He also wants to manifest Himself among us. Why? Because we are God’s temple individually, and we are His temple collectively.
Just like there is an anointing in believers, and there is an anointing upon those who stand in a particular office or ministry gift, there is also a corporate anointing among us. When we realize this and learn to cooperate with the corporate anointing, marvelous things will begin to happen in our church services.
I remember a woman who’d had an operation on her thyroid who attended one of our Healing School sessions many years ago. The doctor had accidentally slit her esophagus during surgery, and for six months she hadn’t been able to swallow. During those six months, she’d had a total of eleven operations, and she still couldn’t swallow. So she had
to be fed through a tube that ran through her nose down into her stomach.
That day in Healing School, we were moving with the Spirit of God in one accord. We had formed a spiritual house, so to speak, for God to indwell. In fact, the Presence of God was so real among us, I could actually see it.
Let me take a side journey here for just a moment. Do you remember what happened when Solomon’s temple was dedicated in the Old Testament? The Bible said that the glory of God moved into the house of God. It looked like a cloud, and it filled all the house. The priests could not even stand up to minister because of the glory of God (2 Chron. 5:14).
That happened in the house of God under the Old Testament, but we are the house of God today. And just like the glory of the Lord filled His house then, He wants to fill His house with His glory today!
Sometimes the glory of God’s Presence can be seen. You can often sense it in a service, but on this particular day, I could see it. It was just like a white cloud above the people’s. heads.
I said to the congregation: “You don’t have to wait until you have hands laid on you to be healed.
The glory is here!
Whatever you need from God, just reach up by faith now and receive!” (You see, the corporate anointing is much greater than the individual anointing. It’s much more powerful and strong.)
I didn’t know it until later, but this woman who couldn’t swallow said, “I’ll just receive my healing now, in Jesus’ Name.” Then she reached up and pulled the tube out of her nose. She hadn’t had a bite of solid food for six months because she couldn’t swallow. But after the service she went and ate two Mexican dinners!
Imagine not having a solid bite of food in your stomach for more than six months and then going out to eat two Mexican dinners! Glory to God, she was healed!
Now getting back to the example of God’s temple in the Old Testament, I want you to notice what happened before God’s glory filled the house. How did it come about? It came about when the people became as one.
2 CHRONICLES 5:13,14
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were AS ONE, to make ONE SOUND to be heard in PRAISING AND THANKING THE LORD; and when THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and PRAISED THE LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that THEN THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH A CLOUD, even the house of the Lord;
14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAD FILLED THE HOUSE OF GOD.
Notice that the people were in unity, and they made one sound. Was it one sound in griping and complaining? No! It was in praising and thanking the Lord! The whole congregation was praising and thanking the Lord out loud. Then the house of God was filled with the cloud. That’s how the manifestation of God’s glory came.
Now look for just a moment in the Book of Acts. I want you to notice some things about how God manifested Himself among the Early Church.
46 And they, continuing daily WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 PRAISING GOD, and HAVING FAVOUR WITH ALL THE PEOPLE. And THE LORD ADDED TO THE CHURCH DAILY such as should be saved.
Again, the people of God were in one accord. That’s why they had such a mighty manifestation of God’s Presence. The Bible says they had favor with all the people, and the Lord added daily to the Church!
Then in Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas also experienced God’s glory as they were in one accord, singing praises to God.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas PRAYED, and SANG PRAISES unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly THERE WAS A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately ALL THE DOORS WERE OPENED, and EVERY ONE’S BANDS WERE LOOSED.
Here we see Paul and Silas in jail. They’d been whipped. Their backs were bleeding. They’d been put in the inner prison, and their feet were bound fast in stocks. But at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God! They weren’t quiet about it either because the Bible said, “… the prisoners HEARD them” (v. 25)!
It was while Paul and Silas were singing praises unto God that the manifestation of His glory came. When they began to sing and to praise God, that old jail shook! Every door flew open, and the stocks fell off of all the prisoners’ feet!
There is so much said about praising God in the New Testament as well as in the Old. When we praise God, He manifests His Presence and power in our midst. In other words, He dwells among us!
God is the same God as He was in the Old Testament. The only difference is, under the New Covenant, the house of God is a different house. Today His house is the Church. It was a literal physical house back then, but now we are the temple of the living God. And when we come together in unity, we create a spiritual “house” for Him to dwell in.
The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of Israel, His covenant people (Ps. 22:3). That’s a good reason to praise Him when we gather together – because He inhabits the praises of His people. And we, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, are God’s people too.
Finally, let’s look at one more example of the corporate anointing in
Acts chapter 13.
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul [Paul].
2 As THEY MINISTERED TO THE LORD, and fasted, THE HOLY GHOST SAID, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Barnabas, Saul (Paul), and the other brethren ministered to the Lord and fasted. What do you suppose they were doing? They were praying and praising God! They were singing praises unto God, and then the Holy Ghost said something!
Praise and worship create the kind of atmosphere in which God can say something! That’s the kind of atmosphere that brings the manifestation of God’s glory among His people. And we need the manifestation of God’s Presence among us as well as in us.
Friends, you are the temple of God! As you meditate on this truth, you’ll not only be more conscious of God’s Presence in you, but you’ll develop a new reverence for the Presence of God in your midst.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE WORD OF FAITH, JUNE 1995, PAGES 4-7. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.