From the garden, to the temple and finaly to the city!!!

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Bible, Church, Jesus Christ
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John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven

Rev 3: 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new nameThe path between the garden to the book of revelation has been a long one.   

In Genesis we see Adam walking with God in the cool of the day.  Fellowship would have been loving and pleasant.  Then came the fall, the hardship of expulsion from the garden and the loss of that sweet fellowship with God.

That separation did not just alienate us from God; it also brought alienation between each other. Almost everything we do is an expression of that alienation.  My space, my room, my time, my boundaries, my driveway, my garden and my fence,  my country , my home.

We have relationships only because we choose to bring down the walls, and let others come in and share our alienation.  The unity we have arises because we share a common interest.  People feel alienated because we have a society that’s ravaged by sinfulness.  The hand that slew his brother in Genesis did not for a minute consider the consequences of depriving himself of a loving brother. But of a jealousy that  drove Cain to steal  from Abel that which was the most precious  possession Abel had and that was his life.  In some twisted way I wonder if he thought he might be depriving God himself from one who offered up a better sacrifice than his own?

The approval of God might not have meant much to Cain, but it did to Abel.  But the division that existed between them was such that one had to go at the cost of a life.  It is the heart that brings separation and the mind finds ways to accomplish it.

Over the years God recreated intimacy with certain individuals but they were few and far.   Then under the Law we see the tabernacle,  a tent which was constructed according to Gods specifications.  although God was with his people there was still a separation.  The Holy of holies which was the very innermost sanctum of the tabernacle still speaks of the fact that he was with his people, but still separated from them.  Mankind was never created to stand at arms lengths.   It was always his plan to establish a fellowship with a people who would enjoy him and be with them.  The intimacy that he now calls us too we experience only in part, but in the fullness of time it will be glorious. 

The Bible says that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem because there will be no need for one.

In the past the temple as created by Moses and later by Solomon spoke of a continual presence but also a continual separation between God and man.  But the temple of the New Covenant no longer speaks of a separation but a unity between himself and us.  The temple of the old has man standing outside his presence.  For there had to be a sacrifice, blood had to be shed to atone and only the priests may do service in the Holy place, and only one man the High priest was even allowed to venture into the Holy of Holies.  A place so sacred they remained the fear that the priest could still be struck down.

Under the New we become the temple which God dwells and we dwell within him.  Now we can enter into the very Holy of Holies and minister to God personally.  We are welcomed as friends and family, a kingdom of holy priests who will enjoy the sunshine of Gods favour.

Rev 21: 3 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 21: 22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

The temple of God is open for all to enter.  It is heartbreaking to see people enter everywhere else but into Gods holy of holies.  When the curtain of the temple was torn in two which signified that the way into the holy of holies was now open, the priests simply replaced the curtain and carried on.  The welcomed sign was put out and men carried on and ignored it.  They had got used to rituals, ceremonies, labour and endless repetitious sacrifices, they could not see that the light had dawned and a new day had risen.  The darkness had passed; God and man could now enjoy communion together. 

What is so heartbreaking is that so many cant see it. But still choose to keep God at arm’s length. Feeling their own shame and unworthiness they remain in the darkness.  The arms that is stretched out to embrace them is more gracious and loving than anyone could imagine, but he will only do it if you come out into the light.   He made the first steps in reconciling and calls upon us all to take the next step.  Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  The Promise by one who holds the galaxies in place can be trusted.

For God has prepared for us a home, a place where the friendship remains forever. There will be no clouds of darkness to cloud that relationship.  Nor rain to spoil the day, nor darkness to hide his face from us.  The watchword will be holiness, purity, and righteousness.  

Rev 21: 5 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

In the olden days the gates of the city would be shut at night to keep out the rogue elements which would enter in and cause havoc among the peace abiding citizens.  But in this city No gate will be shut because there will be no fear of the sinful in entering, and spoiling that communion.  There will be no night to hide anything either spiritually or physically. The facts that all the gates are open illustrated the openness of that fellowship.  Peace of that city will be universal.  The light of that city is truly cosmopolitan.  It will never sleep and it will never slumber. Its radiance eternal.  Its fellowship all-inclusive

Whilst many have tried to picture such a city , they never quite depict the glory and majesty that this city will contain.  It will not be governed by any laws we now consider,  Its values will be eternal, its structures remain unspoiled by aging.  It’s as tall as they are wide and it is deep.  It will be complete in every area.  Spiritual as it is physical.  Some skyscrapers almost seem out-of-place in some cities but in that city its heights will not diminish it.   Its beauty radiating across the new world, because the King will be eternally in residence.  What once separated us will no longer exist, for truly we shall be one.

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