Building the City of God

I have come to reject all the various theories of eschatology; dispensationalism, pre-millennialism. post-millennialism etc.  Why? Because they just do not properly describe what God is doing in the earth and through history.  Here is my road map or blue print of the plan of God for the ages....and where we are today in that plan.

One of the great preaching themes of our present era in the church is "the end times" and with it "signs of the end".  It makes for exciting preaching.  Strangely enough it mirrors exactly what was being preached 2000 years ago in the New Testament church....just many scriptures will talk about "the last days", "the end is near", the coming of the Lord etc.

There are many Bible critics who reject the authority of scripture because it is so obvious that the New Testament writers believed they were in the "last days" before the coming of Christ and here we are 2000 years later and still no coming of Christ. And now once again for the last 70 years at least the church has been once again up in a fervour of "end times" are upon us....and yet here we are well into the 21st century and life goes on.

The problem is that people do not see the plan of the ages.  Therefore they cannot see where we are in that plan.  And yet it has been very plain right from the first book of the Bible to the last book of the Bible what the Lord is doing.

To put it very simply:  God is busy with a construction project!

The finished construction project is visualized for us in Rev.21:2-3
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people  and God himself shall be with them and be their God."

Right from the beginning when God made the heavens and the earth he made a place in Eden where He would manifest Himself on earth to all of mankind.  But sin shut Eden off from mankind.  So God set about building a new Eden, a new place where He would manifest Himself to all the world.

There are various descriptions in the Bible that describe this habitation of the Lord. In some places it is called " mountain of God"  (Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:1-2,) in other places it is the Tabernacle of God, or the city of God, or the Church of God, or the Bride of Christ.

The important thing to understand is that it is actually a mirror image on earth of the great Throne of God in the third heavens.  ASsabove, so below.  The great government of God follows wherever God manifests His presence.  When His kingdom manifests on earth it will mirror His kingdom in the heavens.

Hebrews 12:22 gives us a glimpse of this great government seat of God:
"For you are come unto mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first born which are written in heaven and to God the judge of all and to the spirits of just men made perfect."

Did you notice here that there is a church in heaven?  There is a city of heaven? There is a mountain of God which is the government of God?

Now look through scripture and you will see all those things are what the Lord is building on earth and He is building them to the same specification as in heaven. That is they are to serve the same purpose....to manifest the presence and power of God in earth as it is in heaven.

This is what God told Moses when he was abut to build the tabernacle in the wilderness "...these serve unto an example and shadow of heavenly things as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: For see that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount". (Heb 8:5).

So Moses was to was to build a tabernacle for Israel that was to house the presence of God and that he must build it according to the pattern in heaven.

Now let me zero in on the important point I want to make to you today....what is God building in our day and where are we in its construction? That will help you to understand where we are in the great plan of the ages.

Paul gives us the great building plan of God and its purpose in Ephesians 2:20-22...

"You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."

Now notice carefully what Paul says about the building construction: Jesus is the chief cornerstone and the foundation is the apostles and prophets.  Let me explain that so you can see how this works out in history.

When he says "the prophets" he is referring to Moses who was the greatest prophet besides Jesus. The one part of the foundation is the extensive law of Moses given to Israel as to how to regulate their nation and their lives.

That period of the law and the prophets is the history of Israel from Abraham to Jesus.
That was about a 2000 year history.  It is a history of God revealing His law, calling out His people, revealing Himself to them, revealing His word to them; it is a history of their failure to live that revelation until the time came for a New Covenant. That does no mean that the Law was negated...no it meant that it was fulfilled in Christ.

Now here is the important thing to understand:
The entire 2000 year history of Israel is a history of God laying down the first foundation of His great City, the New Jerusalem.  Then came the end of that era.  The last days, the end time. It meant the end of the era of the prophets and the law.  That is why the New Testament writers were talking about the end times and the coming of Christ.

With the birth of the Church on the day of Pentecost we now had the next foundation being laid down. The foundations of the apostles.  This was vitally important as it would mirror what is already in heaven...the Church of the Firstborn.  Now came the message of the Apostles...you must be born again and be filled with the Spirit of God.

We also have a 2000 year history of that foundation of the Apostles.  Just like Israel rebelled against the message of their day and were sent into bondage in Babylon and almost lost the message...so we the New Testament church also lost our message to the world, we went into bondage to false idols, the Word of God became scarce in the world and the message of you must be born again and be filled with the Spirit was almost lost. But God revived His church starting with the Reformation and through the years since then we have not only recovered the message of the Apostles but also the great signs and wonders of the New Testament church.

And so once again we hear the voices of "the end times", "Jesus is coming", the last days etc.

What does this mean?

That is the issue where I differ from all the various theories of "end times" going around.

I see the great pattern of what God is doing in the earth. He is building a great Tabernacle, a Temple, a city of God...so that He can once again like in Eden make His presence known on earth and His government to rule over all.  He is building a structure on earth that can mirror His image on earth and mirror His government in heaven, on earth.

That is how Genesis starts and that is how Revelation finishes.

And where are we in this great construction project of God? Is God finished and it is time now for us all to be taken up to heaven? Not at all....we are only at the end of the laying of the foundations!

We are like the New Testament church at the end of an era and the beginning of a new era.  That is why they were writing and warning "it is the last days".  And it was. It was the last days of the old order of the prophets and the Law. They had served their purpose. Jesus warned He was coming and when He does come the Temple in Jerusalem and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed.  Why? Because it was time for a new Israel, a new Temple, a New Jerusalem.

We are now at the end of a 2000 year era in the history of God's great building program. We are at the end of the laying down of the teaching of the apostles as a foundation for what is to come. We are the transition generation.  We are in the last days and the end times of an era.  We are also at the beginning of a new age.

With the foundations of the apostles and prophets laid down God can now assemble the pieces of His temple, His city and come and manifest His presence and power in the world. Yes it is the end time and yes Jesus is coming but it is not what the preachers are expecting. We are going nowhere. God is about to make a mighty move in the earth. There are political, economic and cultural earthquakes coming. Signs in the heavens and on the earth.

The Tabernacle of God is being assembled and put together. And when it is assembled the presence and power of God will be manifest on the earth as it is in heaven, the rule and kingdom of God will be present and manifest on the earth as it is in heaven.

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