I have something that I would like to share with you that finally came to fruition after several months== I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me to receive it. Hopefully I am posting this in the right place.
The Coming Cleansing of the Temple
When Jesus comes to His Temple, He comes to cleanse it from the moneychangers that still do their business - "merchandise" - there. But do we have a real grasp on what it means to "merchandise?" Surely we all understand it is to buy and sell, which most take rather literally. But we with the Spirit of Christ in us must learn to read with the eye of the Spirit to discover the true intent of the laws of God. The Spirit of the law, if you will. So it is with this concept of the moneychangers in the temple as well.
And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make "merchandise" of her, because thou hast humbled her.
Merchandise here is Strongs #6014 and means:
"A primitive root; properly apparently to heap; figuratively to chastise (as if piling blows); specifically (as denominative from H6016) to gather grain: - bind sheaves, make merchandise of."
"Merchandising" is therefore defined essentially as the beating up others, chastisement, but this is expressed in more than the literal way. It is also expressed by accusation, anger, contempt, etc., toward others.... It is the opposite of mercy, of course...and it is done because most do not discern the Lord's Body in others. It has been happening in His Temple for the last 2000 years.
Yesterday I was prompted by the Spirit for some reason to look up the word "levity," and saw that it relates to "weightlessness" or "lightness" relative to some other measuring weight (the opposite of "gravity"). This reminded me of the "handwriting on the wall" for Belshazzar, King of Babylon, and the meaning of the words being "you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting (or lacking)."
Levity therefore implies being "placed in the balance scales, but NOT being found wanting, lacking, or coming up short"-- being found "light" enough so that when the weight you are being measured against is placed on the other side of the scale, that you naturally RISE UP. To come up "short" then, is to NOT rise up.
You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
What we most often see is that Man usually tends to judge the sins of others as far WORSE than they judge their own sins.
Thus, a person who does this has a dishonest "weight and measure" ....
What did Jesus say about this?
1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what MEASURE ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: c ondemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38Give, and it shall be given unto you; GOOD MEASURE, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the SAME MEASURE that ye mete withal it shall be MEASURED UNTO YOU again.
Related to this concept of "merchandising" is the unequal weights and measures...the tendency to judge others more severely than we judge ourselves. But what we should be aware of is that this is one type of "robbing God" of the tithes and offerings that belong to Him---
8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I wi ll not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
First compare Luke 6:38 and Mal. 3:10 and their context. Clearly we see that "robbing God" is definetly connected to unequal weights and measures in the sense of judging others' sins as worse than we judge our own. Thus, those who do NOT rob God in this manner will have the storehouse of blessings opened to them.
How then are people robbing God of tithes and offerings? (They ask this question today, even as they asked it of old)...
"Robbing God" is not bringing the MEAT in the storehouse. The meat is "doing the Will of the Father" as Jn. 4:34 tells us. The "meat" that is brought in the storehouse is Christ Himself (Jn. 6:55) in the bodies of those whom He abides in. It is the SOULS of men that we are to bring into the storehouse. We bring these souls in by NOT "merchandising" (beating up/chastising/piling on accusations), and by having an "equal weight and measure (by being merciful/forgiving/extending grace to others).
What does Jesus say about these 'robbers,' these 'thieves?'
12And 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,
13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of THIEVES.
And here is the "connect" between the "merchandising" and "robbing God".
This "overthrowing the moneychangers" that will occur when He comes to "cleanse His Temple" (as judgment will first come to the House of God, 1 Pet. 4:17) is SPECIFICALLY due to the merchandising in the Temple going on today and for the last 2000 years, and they do this because they "fail to discern the Lord's Body".
The piling on and heaping on of chastisement, blows, accusations, is the MERCHANDISING that is going on right now among so many who are the "Temple" today. They judge others' sins more severely than their own, thinking nothing of making accusations and cutting others to shreds with the Sword of their mouth....
THIS IS ROBBING GOD OF THE TITHES because it is using an UNJUST WEIGHT AND MEASURE.
But notice something else. Merchandising also means to "GATHER GRAIN AND BIND SHEAVES":
Again Merchandise, Strongs #6014 means:
"A primitive root; properly apparently to heap; figuratively to chastise (as if piling blows); sp ecifically (as denominative from H6016) to gather grain - bind sheaves, make merchandise of."
Now compare that definition of "merchandising" with this concerning the wheat and tares:
28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and GATHER them up?
29But he said, NAY; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30LET BOTH GROW TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest *I* will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Do you see it? "Merchandising" is also a type of gathering up and binding up the grain, and yet Jesus specifically said NOT to do this yet...that HE would give the order to the reapers at the time of harvest.
Thus, we see that "merchandising" in the Temple is "robbing God", and both are connec ted to the "unequal weights and measures" judging others' sins more serious than our own, and therefore "piling on of accusations and chastisement," which is the equivalent of "pulling up, gathering, and binding" the grain--and this we are specifically told NOT to do.
Why do we as Christians make this mistake?
Because, as alluded to before, we "fail to discern the Lord's body." And yet THIS (the Lord's Body) is what we are called to bring into the STOREHOUSE.
Back several months ago I heard the Lord's voice in my Spirit say the words, "Holy Grail". I didn't know what the Lord was trying to show me at the time, but I knew from past experience in listening to the Spirit that it was a prompt for me to study further.
So when I think of the word, "Holy Grail," I naturally think of the ordinance of th e Lord's Supper that we "do in remembrance of Him." But the Scriptures make it clear that this is not to be taken lightly:
1 Corinthians 11:
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
What these verses show is that when we fail to discern the Lord's body, then we cause judgment to come upon ourselves. If we are not with Him, we are against Him, and in doing so, we are accounted as though we are part of the "Body of those who crucified Him," rather than part of the "Body of He who was crucified."
So it is therefore critical that we understand the nature of what it means to "discern the Lord's body." To fail to do so will cause judgment to come upon our own head, and disqualify us from the prize of the higher calling in Christ.
Discerning the Lord's Body: What does this mean?
The people we come into contact with on a daily basis often try our hearts and test our flesh. Perhaps we surmise they are saved at the time, and perhaps we believe they are not, but clearly we take a chance when we respond in anger, frustration, or contempt. So often when Christians discuss doctrine and disagree, it is all too common to see one or both persons level accusations against the other, even suggesting that the other is not truly "saved."
Do we know this for fact though? How can we? We do not have the perfect mind of Christ yet to see clearly into the hearts of others. Therefore in rendering accusations, if the person who is the target of our "wrath" actually IS saved, then isn't it true that we "crucify the Son of God" afresh?" (Heb. 6:6).
I would submit that is precisely the case. I would also suggest that in responding this way we identify ourselves with the "Body of those who crucified Him," rather than He who was crucified. To this end then, we FAIL TO DISCERN THE LORD'S BODY and are unworthy to drink of His cup.
Well, perhaps we can keep our tongue in check well enough to resist the fleshly urge to voice an opinion concerning the salvation of another, but certainly voicing anger and frustration would not be the same as "crucifying the Son of God afresh"….. would it?
21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
[Raca = worthless; good-for-nothing; A Syriac word signif ying empty, beggarly, foolish; a term of extreme contempt; empty headed man; a term of reproach used among the Jews in the time of Christ.]
Obviously then, terms of reproach and contempt toward another are on the SAME level and equivalence of "killing." Accordingly, then, is it not clear that terms of reproach and contempt toward another, one whom has the seed of Christ within him, can be the equivalence of "crucifying the Son of God afresh?"
Most certainly. We should therefore be careful and 'bridle the tongue' (Jam 1:26) lest we become defiled (Jam 3:6).
How to Discern the Lord's Body: Romans 4:17
I would submit that to 'discern the Lord's body' we should "call what is not, as though it were" (Rom. 4:17) --even as Christ has done for us. Though we are not actually and literally perfect and righteous now, He calls us "righteous" as though we already are.
Likewise, while we do not have the perfect discernment to see inside a person's heart NOW and know whether they have indeed already found salvation in Christ, we CAN extend Grace to them knowing that ALL WILL indeed find salvation in Him eventually. In other words, "calling what is not, as though it were" and let Christ the righteous judge make heart determinations. If we fail to do this, if make the mistake and fail to 'discern the Lord's body,' then the cup we drink will indeed be a judgment to us even as Jeremiah said in chapter 49, and even as the Lord said in Matt. 7.
To discern the Lord's body then is to KNOW Him and SEE Him in ALL things and operating even in the most unlikely of people. To recognize His voice coming out of even an unbeliever is to discern the Lord's body. The Lord could speak through the mouth of an ass, is He any less able to speak through a most despised "enemy?" To hear Him speaking something to you through the most carnal of men (unbeknownst even to them) is to "discern the Lord's body." It is to extend Grace to all persons, without reservation.
The End Result of Discerning (or Failing to Discern) the Lord's Body
1 Corinthians 11:
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
To fail to properly discern the Lord's Body is to drink judgment to ourselves and be "weak, sickly, and sleep (DIE) ."
The road to victory in overcoming weakness and sickness and even in overcoming DEATH itself then, is to properly "discern the Lord's Body." Indeed, the "chalice" or "vessel" that overcomes such things will be a part of the miraculous days ahead of us. To discern the Lord's body then, is to find "strength, health, and (immortal) LIFE." Discerning the Lord's Body in others by extending Grace to them is to "bring the meat into the storehouse" as a lawful tithe and offering to God.