Clearing the Temple of Spiritual Materialism
Then he drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13).
This was a righteous action and rebuke of Adonai Yeshua instructing the people at the ancient temple in Jerusalem, one reminiscent of the various actions and messages of the prophets before him; but first and foremost, this was a teaching, a message, to his disciples, then and now, concerning the temple and keeping it free of the ways of unenlightened society, consumerism, commercialism - spiritual materialism.
Understand, in the Messiah there is, in truth, no exterior temple, and though buildings may be constructed where the faithful and spiritual may gather for fellowship, and for prayer and worship, they are not the temple of the Living God, they are not the Anointed Community, the Body of Messiah. No, indeed, but rather in the Messiah we are the temple of the Living God, or rather our soul is the holy temple, the house of prayer and communion. Understanding this, then, we must follow Adonai Yeshua’s lead and drive out of the temple the ‘merchants and buyers’ - we must put and end to transactional spirituality, or spiritual materialism, in our interior life.
What is ‘transactional spirituality’? Who, or what, are the ‘merchants’ in the temple of our heart and soul? When we fast or give charity, or we pray or keep vigil, or we invoke or worship, seeking a reward from God, or a favor from God, whether of this world or of heaven, or we have some vital demand for ‘results’ from prayer and meditation, this is transactional spirituality, these are the ‘merchants’ in us seeking their own gain, their profit, from devotions to the Lord. This is not to say that there is not something good in such devotions; they are far better than having no devotions at all, and they are good to the extent that there is, in fact, devotion to God and cleaving to God in faith and love, but such devotions are admixed, impure, and are a barrier to deeper inwardness and communion with the Messiah and Holy One. Thus, Yeshua Messiah teaches us to purify our devotions, to drive the ‘merchants and buyers’ out of the temple, the House of Prayer, the House of the Lord; hence, he tells us through his words and example to engage in devotions for their own sake, and more so for the love of God, the Holy One of Being.
The true mystic, gnostic, does not engage in their devotions for the sake of avoiding hell, nor for the sake of God’s favor in this world, nor for the sake of rewards in heaven, but rather for the sake of God and God alone, seeking an ever deeper communion with the Messiah and Holy One, intimate nearness, oneness, with the Messiah in the Holy One.
Understand, the temple - the heart and soul, needs to be cleared, emptied, of everything other than the Holy One, the Word and Holy Spirit; only when cleared, emptied, will the Word be spoken in the heart and soul, and the Holy One revealed, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit being made manifest. When cleared, emptied, the Word is spoken, the Holy Spirit takes up her full divine action, and there is an unveiling, self-disclosure, of the Holy One in that heart and soul - the realization of the indwelling Messiah.
Indeed, your soul, created in the image and likeness of God, is a living temple of the Living God, the Messiah and Holy Spirit dwelling in it, and so the Eternal One, who is in the Messiah, dwells in it; your soul an emanation of the Infinite Light of God Most High, itself in its essence and nature infinite, eternal - bornless being, and so able to hold the fullness of the Shekinah of the Lord.
Listen and hear, and understand! Let your devotions be for the love of the Lord, the love of the Messiah and Holy One, and trust in the Lord, and let the Lord love you freely, without demanding anything of the Lord. In that all that you are, and all that you have, comes from the Lord, and in fact belongs to the Lord, there is, in truth, nothing you have as your own for trade; likewise, understand, the Lord does, indeed, provide for all your needs, God bestowing blessings in free will and love, as God wills, as God desires. Love God freely, purely, and let God love you freely, purely, loving for the sake of love, and its fruition, nearness, oneness - union.
Upon souls that love God in this way, in pure devotion, in spirit and truth, there is naturally an outpouring of abundant mercy, abundant blessings, for such is God’s love - it is All-Giving.
So we hear of Adonai Yeshua that he “increased in wisdom and years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52).
There is more to be said concerning this, but this is enough for today.
May we clear, empty, the temple so that the Shekinah of Yahweh, Yeshua, might fill it and indwell it fully! Amen.
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