Meta. Solomon's Temple is a symbol of the regenerated body of man, which when he attains it, he will never again leave. This enduring temple is built in the understanding of Spirit as the one ] and only cause of all things. In I Corinthians 6:19 and in II Corinthians 6:16 we learn that man's body is the temple or house of God.
History says that for magnificence, splendor, and cost Solomon's Temple has never been equaled. It occupied three fourths of a square mile, and cost a billion dollars; yet not a vestige of it remains. Several Temples have since been built on the spot where it stood. So we see that the enduring temple that man is to build is not the outer symbol, but the body temple of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came teaching that the body is the temple He brought to man the revelation of the enduring temple. We as a race are educated through symbols. The Temple of Solomon and the tabernacle that preceded it were object lessons, symbols of the true tabernacle that God pitched, but not man; of the temple "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." The heavens represent the consciousness of the ideal in each of us. The real temple idea is a permanent abiding place for the ego. The ego must be clothed upon. Man is a series of conscious projections from center (ego) to circumference (body. This clothing is made of thoughts.
We are told by physiologists that the whole organism is built cell by cell and destroyed cell by cell. The builder of a house uses brick and mortar, and to this we have a correspondence in body building and in character building. There must be pigeonholes where all the different thoughts, feelings, and memories can be filed away, that they may be found readily when wanted. This is the object of the divine body temple, and it is a wonderful structure. It is not only substance, but life, intelligence, power. It is fitted to express Divine Mind perfectly.
All that preceded Jesus Christ was transitory. He came as the enduring man, and His body was "a temple of the living God" because He made it alive. He said, "Follow me"--"ye who have followed me, in the regeneration . . . " In its courts, furnishings, and observances, the Temple of Solomon represents regeneration. It shows the various steps through which man passes in order to come to completeness in universal Mind where he is indeed "a temple of the living God."
In the Temple there was first the court of the Gentiles, the outer court where all people of every nation could gather and be in touch with spiritual life; but the Gentiles were not allowed to enter the inner court. Only those were permitted there who took religious vows. These two courts are representative of two states of mind. In orderly process of man's development there are certain conditions to be observed. The rabble from the outer court cannot enter the inner without purification. People who strive to enter without a mental cleansing, a change of mind, meet conditions worse than they had before. In the inner court was the altar for sacrificial offering. It was thirty feet square, and seven and a half feet high. On this altar "burnt-offerings" of all kinds were made. Every person who came to worship was expected to bring an offering: a goat, a kid, a dove, or the like. Here is a representation of the giving up of all animal proclivities in the regeneration. In the religious life those who seek God must live differently from those who are in sense consciousness. There must be a change of mind and a relinquishment of all that pertains to sense ways.
Still further in the second court was the brazen sea, held up by twelve brazen oxen. There were ten lavers also. The brazen sea represents the soul. It is necessary to have a certain cleansing of the whole consciousness from the idea of sin. He who enters "the temple" must realize his innate purity, and if he observes the various steps in purification through denial, he will have this consciousness.
The next step after sacrifice and cleansing is the entrance into the holy of holies. There were the seven-pronged candlestick, and the shewbread, and the incense. The candlestick represents the light of Spirit---which light cannot be explained to outer consciousness. What was within the Temple was invisible from without. The shewbread was the symbol of the invisible substance of consciousness, the manna of God. There is a spiritual substance in the body itself, but only those who can lay hold of it and make it theirs enter the holy of holies.
Incense is a symbol of prayer. There must be a constant going forth of the word of Spirit, proclaiming Truth. This spiritual essence should radiate from center to circumference, and permeate the whole consciousness.
After man has dwelt in the holy of holies he can go still further into the holy place. Here the high priest entered once a year, and in it was the divine Shekinah, a pillar of light, symbol of the Holy One, formless, absolute, without limitation of any kind. In the play "Ben Hur," Christ is represented by a beam of light. He is never seen in the personal; His presence is merely suggested by the light. So is the ray of God, the divine-man ego, in the holy place within every man.
The high priest is I AM. Every one of us is a high priest in his own temple. When we enter the absolute we sacrifice the personal upon the altar, that we may realize the Christ way into the secret place of the Most High.
By observation we see that man was and is being educated by symbols. Our temples become more magnificent as consciousness broadens and we go deeper into the mysteries of Being. Spiritual thought and spiritual meditations are constantly carrying us to the place of ascension, where form is resolved into its divine idea. This was the supreme victory of Jesus Christ. When He came proclaiming that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, anointing Him to open the eyes of the blind, a new consciousness came to the race. He opened the eyes of men, and showed them the way into their body temple. We must follow Him in this eternal temple building. He is the only man that ever created a permanent body. If we make the proper sacrifice and enter in absolute purity the way will be easy. But we must have courage and boldness to enter the absolute as Jesus did, and proclaim with Him, "I and the Father are one.” Jesus Christ taught the beauty and continuity of the body temple. This was one object of His ministry. He first proclaimed that His mission was to preach and to heal, and all of His work was to demonstrate perfection of the temple, to establish the true worship of the living God throughout the body, which is God's temple.
Every person is a high priest in his own consciousness. When you say, "Jehovah is in his holy temple," do you think of God as dwelling in externals ? If you do, have the fearlessness to say to every tumultuous thought, "Be still, and know that I am God." "Jehovah is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him" and know that your own God-given ego is speaking.