PART I: THE BODY TEMPLE
“The physical body is Real and beautiful beyond words to describe. It is wonderful beyond all the imaginings of mankind. In it are revealed the secret things of God. Through it work the Cosmic Forces of the Universe.” Lloyd A. Meeker (Uranda)
Temple of Flesh.
“Deck thyself now with majesty and excellence”
These words from the Book of Job are both an invitation and a command to be beautiful, upright and glorious in my spirit as well as in my physical form. Indeed, why would not the temple of the Living God on Earth be decked with majesty and excellence and arrayed with glory and beauty? Is it not the very House of God in living, breathing, singing flesh? Did we not deck it with majesty and excellence, beauty and glory from the beginning, when we said, “Let us make Man in our image, after our own likeness, ” and when the morning stars sang together and the sons and daughters of God shouted for joy?
Where is our glory now? How have we paled in majesty and excellence, we who are God incarnate? What has become of our flesh, our sacred temples? Are they merely dust returning unto dust or are they mud lifted up unto splendor? What do you see when you look at your body? A heap of troublesome flesh or a vibrating, scintillating domicile for divinity? And who is it that is looking? The one who needs a body to exist at all, but for a short time, or the One who made this temple in the womb and lives forevermore with or without it?
Look again and see with deeper eyes, with the eyes of the immortal being you are. What do you see now? Can you see a dwelling place for your own divine presence as a creator being, a beautiful temple of flesh and bone? Perhaps I can help us see more than meets the physical eyes. Let me lend my spiritual eyes for the duration of this book so we can see all that is with us in the sacred anatomy of our physical bodies.
Whether we know it or not, believe it or not, feel it or not, our bodies are temples more splendid than the Gothic cathedrals of Europe and more ornate than the gold-plated mosques of Arabia. Those temples were raised to appease and worship imaginary gods in far distant heavens. These temples are raised to the living God by angels who descend from out of the realms of light to bring glory to the farthest reaches of creation so that God can dwell with us now in the flesh. Temples of yore were raised to the gods with altars for sacrifice and atonement. The human temple had become a place of desolation and violence. Man had lost consciousness of the presence of the divine within himself and so built structures, beautiful structures, to the gods of old and, more recently, to the One God, worshiped today by seventy-two different names throughout the religions of the world.
King Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem was arrayed with much glory and beauty. Yet when the Master Jesus ministered in that part of the world he is recorded to have declared that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as a single lily of the field. How much more, he assured us, are we so adorned by our Father in heaven. He was referring to the human being, the design and beauty of which even Solomon’s temple merely reflected.
There are remarkable similarities between these two temples, the one of wood, stone and gold and the one of bone, flesh and spirit. Solomon’s temple was built according to a very specific design for the purpose of providing a glorious and protective surround for the presence of God. Built as a permanent resting place for the tabernacle of old, which Moses had made to transport the Ark of the Covenant through the wilderness after the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, it was constructed mostly out of fir and cedar—the famed and magnificent cedars of Lebanon the Phoenicians used to build their great ships—along with hand-hewed stone for the floor of the inner court. The entire “House of the Lord” was said to be overlaid with pure gold, just as the Ark of the Covenant had been.
Similarly, our body temples are constructed with bones—fibrous tissues like unto wooden beams—which are overlaid with connecting tissues of tendons, ligaments and muscles to hold them together and give them flexibility for movement. The entire structure is imbued and overlaid with the pure essences of love, the spirit of God that gives it breath and moves it about.
Moses’ tabernacle, which served as a portable tent (the literal meaning of the word tabernacle) for the Ark of the Covenant, was divided into three chambers, one at the inner most center and the other two encircling it, each chamber serving a specific function. The outer court was an entrance and gathering chamber. It separated the tabernacle from the encampment of the twelve tribes of Israel, where they conducted commerce and the affairs of everyday life. There was a gate for entering and going forth; in this sense, what separated also connected.
The outer court was the site of activities relating to the mental level—the teaching of the laws handed down to the children of Israel by the LORD God through Moses, by which they were to govern themselves as a nation. Activities were also conducted relating to the business affairs of the temple, such as the sale of sacrificial animals. The Levites, the thirteenth tribe, comprised the priesthood and were encamped immediately around the tabernacle.
Within the surround of the outer court was a containment called the “Holy Place.” This chamber was kept holy and pure by the priests and ministers of the temple who prepared and conducted worship services representing Yahweh to his people and his people to Yahweh. A single doorway connected the Holy Place with the outer court.
In the heart of the temple within the Holy Place, hidden and protected by a series of veils and much like a jewel in its setting, was the “Holy of Hollies” where the spirit of God dwelt on earth with His chosen people. Herein only the High Priest could enter, which he did once each year. God’s presence with the Israelites was represented through the design of the temple with its priesthood, focused by the High Priest.
There was a specific design to the tabernacle which Moses built in the wilderness as well as the temple which Solomon would build about five hundred years later. Both of these temples reflected a design inherent in the human body.
Temples of King Solomon and Queen Sheba
Around 1000 BC King Solomon built a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem according to the same design as the tabernacle of Moses, only much larger and more permanent and therefore more elaborate. He built it in honor of Melchizedek the King and High Priest of Salem.
(The word “Salem” derives from “Shalom,” a greeting of “Peace be to you.” Thus the name “Jerusalem,” which means “City of Peace,” stands, even to this day of irony and paradox, as the name of a city torn by conflict and war throughout most of its turbulent yet enduring history.)
The late biblical scholar and historian Grace Van Duzen (1912-2004) had studied these matters over many years and visited the Great Pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt, as well as other places in the Holy Land. She also visited a temple at Deir el Bahari that was built by the “Queen of Sheba,” believed now to be the famed Queen Hatshepsut, near Thebes along the Nile River. She built it after the design of Solomon’s temple, which the queen had seen when she visited Solomon. Grace’s recently published masterpiece, THE BOOK Of GRACE — A Cosmic View Of The Bible, offers fresh and realistic insight into the stories in the Bible. She describes Solomon’s temple in remarkable detail:
It would have been an awe-inspiring experience to enter the temple of Solomon. The approach was by “ascents” or tiers which led to the interior of the temple. Psalms 120 – 134, each called a “Song of degrees,” were sung on the tiers as the priests made their ascent to the increasingly sacred places in the temple. The oracle, or most holy place, would correspond to the Holy of Hollies in the tabernacle, which housed the cherubim. In the grand temple, the 15-feet-high magnificent figures with the 15-feet wingspans which touched each other, would have been a glorious sight….
The pattern of the human being, temple of the living God, embodies the same divine blueprint. The building of Solomon’s temple was in silence. Anything requiring noise was done outside. The silence is a factor in all of God’s creation as the gift of heaven is endowed with Earth’s substance. The wings of the two cherubim poetically depict the human brain, its positive and negative aspects in perfect harmony, fulfilling their divinely ordained function as created. An awesome instrument, its design provides Almighty God (the power that created the universe) with the instrument whereby His Will may bring forth in Earth’s substance a unique form of the wonder and beauty of the cosmos. (pp. 326-327)
Grace describes the Deir el Bahari temple that the “Queen of Sheba” built near Thebes in Eypt:
Today one can visit a magnificent temple at Deir el Bahari near Thebes, nestled against a wall of rose-colored cliffs. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there and marveled at the bas-reliefs on its walls that depict the reign of Queen Hatshepsut the outstanding event of which was her visit to a “holy land.” This temple was built by the Queen of Sheba on her return from her visit to King Solomon, a small replica of his glorious edifice in Jerusalem.
Exquisite pictures adorn the walls of the Queen of Sheba’s temple in Egypt, revealing a dignified people with features unlike the Egyptians and a mystery to many through the years. These were Solomon’s people, whom the Queen described as happy and blessed, living in a glorious land which she called “God’s.” She returned with gifts in abundance, pictured on the walls of her temple and itemized in the biblical record. They included rare animals, flowers of all kinds and rare trees. . . .
. . . It is amazing that this replica, built on a very small scale, is the key, on a visual level, to the design and glory of Solomon’s mighty temple. Even the ascents to the temple can be seen and traversed. It has been called an “accident” in Egyptian architecture; nothing like it has ever been seen there and it is regarded by many as the most beautiful building in Egypt. When this temple was constructed a new temple service was initiated. Twelve priests, with a high priest heading them, officiated before the altar. The office of the high priest was established in the Egyptian service at the time of Queen Hatshepsut. (pg. 335)
Solomon’s kingdom represented the culmination of a failed cycle of restoration of the Body of Mankind—which began to move, actually, with Seth, one of Adam’s sons, out of whose lineage came Noah and, through Noah’s lineage, Abraham. The cycle was initiated with the sparing of Isaac’s life as he was about to be slain in a sacrificial offering by Abraham, his father, upon a mountain in the land of Moriah. With this action, Abraham brought to an end an ancient pattern of human sacrifice that had long been an integral part of ceremonial worship on earth. The rest of the cycle as recorded in the Old Testament is the story of the rise and fall of the nation of Israel, which had several kings and prophets before it came to an end. Among these was King Solomon.