Saturday, September 12, 2009
The Church is that place where the Lord is
and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE. (Ezekiel 48:35)
The last several chapters of the Book of Ezekiel are a mystery, but they certainly are not to be read literally. The dimensions of the city and the Temple, and many of the other details in the passages, are not comprehensible from the perspective of the natural mind. Some commentators have tried to force a literal interpretation upon the chapters, and the results are ridiculous.
This final line, however, gives a hint that the passages are looking forward to the New Covenant church, and apply metaphorically. The New Jerusalem, with its new Temple and all its new temple services, according to St Peter, is the Church: I Peter 2:9-10 "...But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." The Apostle Paul goes on to say: "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, ..." Hebrews 12:22-23.
From that day, that is the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit commenced living in the spirits of those who have fully put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ; trusting in Who He is (the only begotten Son of the Triune God), trusting in what He has accomplished upon the Cross of Calvary (relying on the atonement as fully satisfying God's anger towards repentant sinners) and trusting in what He has said (living with an unshakable desire to do all that He has commanded). It is this body of people that this passage of Scripture is referring to when it says: "THE LORD IS THERE."