An epistle to all Christians, Jews, and Gentiles,
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Thus said the Lord, "Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool; where is the house that you will build for me, and what is the place of my rest?’ This the Lord said to the Jews who built the temple. Isaiah 66:1.
And again, Steven said to the Jews' high-priest, when he was examining him, Though Solomon built a house for the Lord; however the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands; for heaven is God's throne, and earth is his footstool; what house will you build me, said the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Has not my hands made all these things? You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you always resist the holy ghost; as your forefathers did, so do you.
Now here all may see, that it was the stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, that were the persecutors, as in the next verse, that did resist the holy ghost; and therefore their bodies, in that state, were not like to be temples of the holy ghost; as in 1 Cor 6:19. And, therefore, these persecutors that did resist the holy ghost, which comes from the Father and the son, were the criers up of the outward temple; they were not like to see God, as Steven did, who dwells not in the temples made with hands, and heaven to be his throne, and earth his footstool, who resists his holy spirit that proceeds from him, by which God is seen and known.
And the apostle Paul said, ‘God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he gives to all, life, and breath, and all things, and has made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on the face of the earth. That they should seek the Lord, if happily they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being,’ Acts 17:24-28.
So you may see, here are many witnesses before-mentioned, that God that made the world, and all things therein, who is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands, but as the prophets, Christ, and the apostles say, ‘heaven is God's throne, and the earth is his footstool.’ Mat 5:34-35.
So, all come to know God, who has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth; he gives to you all life and breath, and all things; I say, all to know him by his spirit which he pours upon all flesh, heaven to be his throne, and earth to be his footstool; yes, all that dwell upon the face of the earth, know the earth that you dwell upon, and walk upon, to be God's footstool, and heaven to be his throne, who is Lord of heaven and earth, who gives you breath and life, and pours his spirit upon you, or in you, Joel 2, Acts 2. That with his spirit you may know the day has come that Joel spoke of; and that with his spirit you may all know that God has poured his spirit upon you, or in you, that with it you may live in God, and move in God, and have your being in God, who is Lord of heaven and earth; and heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, upon which face of the earth you dwell, and walk. So all to see and know that you are the temples of the living God, as God has said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ 2 Cor 6:16, Lev 26:12.
And thus said the Lord, who dwells not in temples made with hands, but the saints that are lead by the holy ghost are the temples of God and the holy ghost; for the Lord said, ‘the children of Israel and Judah had provoked him to anger with the works of their hands.’ The Lord said, ‘For this city, (Jerusalem, and the temple,) has been to me a provocation of my anger, and of my fury, from the day that they built it, even unto this day, (Jerusalem, and the temple,) that I should remove it from before my face, (said the Lord,) and destroy it,’ Jer 32:30-31.
So you may see here, that such as resisted the holy ghost, were crying up outward Jerusalem, and the outward temple, who were the stiff-necked persecutors, and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, as you may see in the prophet's time, and in Isaiah's time, and in Christ's, Steven's, and the apostle Paul's time; and such uncircumcised in hearts and ears, that are persecutors, that did and do resist the holy ghost now, are crying up outward temples, and imprisoning, and persecuting, and seizing property of people now, because they will not give money to mend their temples or churches, though they make no use of them; and yet they say, the gates of hell shall not prevail against their church; and yet daily want repairing, either by reason of weather, storms, or thunder!
And though the Lord tells them by his prophet, and Steven, and his apostles, ‘that God that made the world, and all things therein, dwells not in temples made with hands, but heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, and he is the Lord of heaven and earth.’ And said of his people in these words, ‘What? do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the holy ghost, which is in you, which you have of God.’ And again, ‘For you are the temples of the living God, as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said God Almighty.’ Jer 31:33. And, therefore, all that receive the holy ghost, know your bodies to be the temples of the living God, and this holy ghost, and heaven to be God's throne, and earth his footstool, and that you dwell and walk upon his footstool, and that you do live and move, and have your everlasting being in God, who dwells not in temples made with hands; but God dwells and walks in you his temple, and he is your God and Father, and you are his people, and the sons and daughters of God Almighty. So that every one may truly say, 'I live, and move, and have my being in God; heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, which I naturally dwell and walk upon, and, spiritually, in God I live, and move, and have my being, to his praise and glory, who is the Lord of all, both in heaven and earth, from everlasting to everlasting, blessed and praised for ever. Amen.'
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6. May all people know [witness by seeing] God the Father so to be.
The 4th of the 7th Month, 1682
Postscript from George Fox's Journal:
As I went towards Nottingham on a First-day in the morning, with Friends to a meeting there, when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I saw the great steeple-house: and the Lord said unto me, ‘You must go cry against that distant great idol,* and against the worshippers inside.’ I said nothing of this to the Friends, but went with them to the meeting, where the mighty power of the Lord God was among us; in which I left Friends sitting in the meeting, and went to the steeple-house.
When I came there all the people looked like fallow ground, and the priest, like a great lump of earth, stood in his pulpit above: he took for his text these words of Peter, ' We have also a more sure word of prophecy, which you do well to heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.' He told the people this was the scriptures, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions. Now the Lord's power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold; but was made to cry out, 'Oh! no, it is not the scriptures;' and told them what it was, namely, the holy spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all truth, and so gave the knowledge of all truth. For the Jews had the scriptures, yet resisted the holy ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning-star, and persecuted Christ and his apostles, and took upon them to try their doctrines by the scriptures, but erred in judgment, and did not try them aright, because they tried them without the holy ghost.
But,' I said, 'what do you call the church?' 'Why,' he said, 'what you call the steeple-house.' Then I asked him, 'whether Christ shed his blood for the steeple-house? And purchased and sanctified the steeple-house with his blood? And since the church is Christ's bride and wife, and that he is the head of the church, did he think the steeple-house was Christ's wife and bride, and was he the head of that old house, or of his people? 'No,' he said, Christ is the head of his people, and they are the church.' 'But,' I said, 'you have given the title church to an old house which belongs to the people; and you have taught them to believe so.'
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