A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
All these main points in the Old Testament are merely types. Because of this, there was the need for the Lord Jesus to come as the reality. When He came in His incarnation, He set up a tabernacle for God and tabernacled among us (John 1:14). In John chapter two He revealed to the Jews that He was not only the tabernacle but also God’s temple (2:18-21). Thus, when He was on earth, He was both the tabernacle and the temple. When Peter, the leading apostle, was first brought to the Lord, the Lord changed his name from Simon to Cephas, which means a stone (John 1:42). In John 1:51, the Lord Jesus said to Nathanael, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." This word indicates that the fulfillment of Jacob’s dream rested upon His building the house of God.
After approximately three years with His disciples, He brought them out of the religious realm and atmosphere to the border of the so-called holy land, and there He asked them this question: "Whom do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15). After Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," the Lord said, "I also say to you that you are a stone, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:16, 18, Gk.). The Lord revealed that He was the rock and that Peter was a stone. This word must have made a deep impression upon Peter, for some time later he rebuked the Jewish builders, and seemed to say, "You Jewish builders crucified Him on the cross, fully rejecting the building stone. But God has raised Him up and has made Him the head of the corner." In 1 Corinthians 3:11 Paul says that the church is built upon Christ as the foundation, and in his first Epistle Peter says that all who come to the Lord will be living stones built together into a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:4-5). This is Bethel, the house of God. Ultimately, this Bethel will be enlarged to consummate in the New Jerusalem. On the one hand, the New Jerusalem will be the tabernacle of God among men; on the other hand, there God Himself and the Lamb will be the temple. This is the bird’s-eye view of God’s building.
THE MAIN STREET
In looking at any map we must find the main streets. This matter of the building is the main street in the Bible. Throughout the centuries, thousands of Christian books have been written, but most of them have missed the main street. Instead, they concentrate upon the minor streets. Holiness, sinless perfection, spirituality, tongues, and healing are some of these minor streets. All those who concentrate on these things will miss the mark, which is Bethel, the house of God. In Deuteronomy 12:5 and 6, God seemed to be saying, "You must not offer your burnt offerings and tithes at the place of your choice. You must go to the place I have chosen for My name and for My habitation." Today, this place is the church, for in the New Testament we see that the church is the place God has chosen for the Lord’s name and for His habitation. Many famous Christian teachers have said that two or three gathering together in the name of the Lord Jesus are the church. They say this because they are blind and do not see the vision of the main street.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 77, by Witness Lee)