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9. Throughout history the dwelling place of God are in the making, in process of being completed. And I ask you to consider three stages of the process in the building of Godís dwelling place.
10. First we consider what the final or completed stage of this building project will look like. It is seen in the verses we just read from Revelation. John sees the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. John did not see a temple in the city. Why? Because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. But what does this mean? In the state of perfection or completion, the temple and the city are one. God dwells in His temple. As long as there is a temple in the city it shows that God does not yet dwell in the entire city, but only in the particular building called the temple. But in the state of perfection, God fills the entire city. He is at home in all of it. In other words, He is in the heart of every citizen. When one would enter this holy city, one would not ask "where is the temple or the house of God." In fact in the new earth, the Holy City will be the new earth. For all who dwell therein will be the dwelling place of God.
11. But as we said we are not yet in this stage. The first stage is found in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the actual city of Jerusalem and the physical temple were said to be the dwelling place of God. And so people who lived in Jerusalem were considered to be citizens of Godís kingdom. That is why it was such a shock when the people of Jerusalem were deported to Babylon and the glory of God left the temple. It was a sign that they were no longer accorded the honour of being in the kingdom, no longer the home of Godís presence.
12. But although Jerusalem was called the holy city, it was only in the temple that God was considered to actually dwell. And then, not in the greater temple, but only the temple proper, which did include the court of the priests and the court of women, but did not include the court of Gentiles. Ad so unbelievers were allowed in this outer court. God dwelt in the holy of holies.
13. But we know that God cannot in actuality be confined to a temple. After building the temple, Solomon said:
2 Chr 6:18 "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
14. And so, as many things in the Old Testament, the temple and the city were a symbols or a types - representing something much greater. A physical sign of a spiritual reality. Similar to our sacraments.
15. In the New Testament this spiritual reality is the second stage of the building of the city or temple of God.
John 2:19-21 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
16. Jesus speaking of temple - His death and resurrection. He is temple - His body or church is His temple. And so Jerusalem can be see as representative of the church. All who are so-called cities dwell in the holy city.
17. And as the city/temple were divided
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