We need to see and realise that God desires to have a dwelling place on earth with man, and the goal of His salvation is the building of His dwelling place on earth; the church is the place of God’s throne and the place where He dwells with His people.
In Ezekiel 43:1-7 we see that the glory of God returned to the house of God, and this house became the place of his throne and the place of the soles of His feet, the place where He dwells with and in the midst of His people forever.
Our God is the God of glory and the God of the house of God. As the God of glory, He appears to us, draws us, infuses us with His element, and transfuses Himself into us to become our faith, our believing element.
The God of glory has appeared to our father Abraham and called him, attracted him, and enabled him to follow God. In the same principle, we the New Testament believers have been called by God’s invisible glory, we were attracted by Him, and we are enabled to follow Him and be one with Him, for Him to gain a corporate expression.
As He infuses Himself into us, we become the children of God, and He is our Father of glory; as the many sons of God, we express our Father. He regenerated us, and He is now transforming us in our soul so that we may be saved from our self and natural life to express Him, and no longer express ourselves.
Our God is the God of the house of God. He is not only the God of individual believers, the God who calls us, supplies us, and transforms us, but the God of the house, the God of and in the Body of Christ. As we experience transformation and enter the stage or being mature in the divine life, we experience God we the God of the house of God.
This is much sweeter and richer than our personal experience of Christ. When we are with the saints in the church life, we experience a deeper and higher aspect of God, God in His house, and here we realise what His heart’s desire is, and how we can be built up together to be His house.
What God wants to gain is a glorious expression, a glory-filled house, where He can rule, reign, be expressed, be at rest, be satisfied, and be at home.
This is an organic building, and for this building He works in us to transform us and save us from independence, individualism, and peculiarities, so that we may be buildable and built up in His house.
Seeing a Vision of the Dwelling Place God Desires to have on Earth and Realising that God’s Goal is the Building
The four main sections in Ezekiel are on the vision of the appearance of the glory of the Lord, the judgment by fire, the recovery by life, and the holy building of God.
The conclusion and consummation of the book of Ezekiel is the building of God, the house of God, showing that God’s goal is the building. This book begins with a glorious vision and ends with the building of God, the dwelling place of God.
The book of Revelation is a parallel book which also has four main sections, which focus on the vision, the judgement from God, the recovery of God, and the building of God.
Both Ezekiel and Revelation end with the glorious and holy building of God, the city with twelve gates, showing that both in the Old and in the New Testament, God’s desire is the same: He wants to gain His dwelling place in man, and His goal is the building.
We need to see a vision of the dwelling place that God desires to have on earth and realize that God’s goal is the building (Ezek. 40:4; 43:10-11; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:21-22; 4:16; Rev. 21:2).
Especially starting from the book of Exodus with the tabernacle, the desire of God’s heart is clearly seen – He wants to have a dwelling place with man on earth; the goal of God’s salvation is the building of His dwelling place on earth (Exo. 25:8-9; 29:45-46; 40:1-2, 34-38).
Both with His earthly people – Israel, and with His heavenly people – the church, God’s desire is to gain a dwelling place on earth with man.
How misled Christianity is – including fundamental Evangelical Christianity – when they focus on “heaven” as God’s goal and dwelling place; they misinterpret John 14 to say that the Father’s house is heaven.
Such a concept is not from God but rather demonic, for it is directly opposed to God’s desire to have a house, a dwelling place, with man on earth. When the Lord Jesus came, He said, I will build My church (Matt. 16:18), and He encouraged us to pray, Lord, may Your kingdom come (Matt. 6:10).
God wants to have the church built up on earth because He desires to have a dwelling place on earth with man and among man. He – the God of the heavens – wants to live on the earth; the heavens are where He is, the earth is the footstool for His feet, but He dwells in man and with man.
This is the heart’s desire of God, to gain a dwelling place in the church among man. The church today is the manifestation of God in the flesh, the mystery of godliness, and the house of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:5).
May the Lord show us that His desire is to gain a dwelling place on earth, and His goal is to have a building.
Lord Jesus, cause us to see a vision of the dwelling place God desires to have on earth. May we realize that God’s unique goal is the building, the church. May this be our realization inwardly, and may this be real to us. Lord, make the desire of Your heart become the desire of our heart, and duplicate Your heart in us so that we may care for what You care. We are here to be part of Your house, Your dwelling place, Your building. Amen, Lord, may the God of heavens gain a dwelling place on earth in the church!
The Church is the Place of God’s Throne and the Place where He Dwells with His People
Once God gains the building, He can say, “This is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever” (Ezek. 43:7). These are the words which “a man” told Ezekiel; this man was the Lord Himself, and the Lord’s desire and joy were with His house.
As the Lord returned with His glory to the temple, He was very happy; His house has been recovered, and once again He had a place for the soles of His feet, a place to dwell in.
The Lord’s desire is for His house – He desires to gain the church as the place of God’s throne, the place of the soles of His feet, and the place where He dwells with His people. To gain such a place, the Lord is recovering the church life.
This is why we are so happy when we meet with the saints and enjoy the Lord – we are happy because the Lord is happy. We have much joy in the meetings of the church because the Lord is happy, for He gains a place for His throne, a place for the soles of His feet, and a place to dwell with man.
For centuries the Lord didn’t have such a place, but today there are hundreds of local churches where He can dwell, He can establish His throne, and He can put His feet. The throne is for God’s government, administration, and kingdom; it is the place from where He administrates.
God needs a place on earth, a beachhead, where He can establish the center of His government; this place is the church. The soles of the Lord’s feet are for His move on earth; the church today is the place where He can move freely, both in and among the local churches.
Apart from the church as the temple of God being the place of God’s throne and the place of the soles of his feet, the Lord has no base for His administration and move on the earth. When the church is built up, the Lord has a standing on earth to administrate His government and to move on the earth; also, He has a place where He can freely move.
Furthermore, the church is the lace where the Lord can dwell for His rest and satisfaction. Once He has the house built up, He will establish His throne there and He will administrate from within His house.
Also, when the church is built up, the Lord will execute His administration through His house, mainly through the prevailing prayers of the church, and He will move unhindered wherever He wants to go on earth.
In a practical sense, God has been forced to temporarily withdraw from the earth, for nowhere on earth is He welcomed; so the Lord taught us to pray, May Your kingdom come and may Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Part of our commission in having God’s authority is to exercise dominion for God and cause His enemy to lose ground on earth. We need to understand that, without a building on earth, without the actual building up of the churches, God doesn’t have a way to move and work and administrate freely on the earth.
Only the built-up church gives the Lord the standing to administrate His government and move on earth, and is a place where the Lord can dwell for His rest and satisfaction (see Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:15).
He longs to be able to be with His household to rest, have satisfaction, and have a realm where He can carry out the desire of His heart.
Lord, may the church life today be the place of God’s throne, the place of the soles of His feet, and the place where He dwells with His people. Amen, Lord, gain a built-up church that gives You the ground and standing to administrate and move freely on earth. May Your kingdom come and may Your will be done on earth as in heaven. We want to give You the ground to rule and reign, and we want to be Your dwelling place, the place of Your rest and satisfaction. Amen, Lord, gain a built-up church that gives You the standing to administrate Your government and move freely on earth!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msgs. 13-14, 24 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 12 (week 24 in the HWMR), The Return of the Glory of God to the House of God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Thy dwelling-place, O Lord, I love; / It is Thy Church so blessed, / It is Thy joy and heart’s delight / And where Thy heart finds rest. (Hymns #852)
# We in Him are built together / For God’s dwelling manifest, / Fitly framed by God the Spirit / For His pleasure and His rest. (Hymns #823)
# God with man completely blended, / Mystery of godliness. / God in glory, full, resplendent, / Man, His dwelling, doth express. (Hymns #976)
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