IN GOD’S BUILDING, GOD ALSO BEING MAN’S DWELLING PLACE
Please remember, however, that God wants us not only to be His dwelling place but also to take Him as our dwelling place. If you read carefully about the godly people in the Old Testament, you will find out that the one thing they desired the most, the thing which gave them the most comfort and rest, was to dwell in the house of God. Every one of the godly saints of old had his own house, but none of them considered his house a place of rest. They all desired to dwell in the house of God. Therefore, they said, “One thing I have asked from Jehovah; / That do I seek: / To dwell in the house of Jehovah / All the days of my life” (Psa. 27:4). They also said, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand; / I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God” (84:10). These verses tell us that God’s house is our house. Please remember that this house is the issue of the mingling of God with man, and it is also the mutual abode of both God and man—God dwelling in man and man dwelling in God. God dwells in this abode, taking man as His dwelling place, and man dwells in it, taking God as his dwelling place.
Without man, God does not have a home in the universe, and without God, man also does not have a home. The Bible shows us that man is the house of God, and God is the house of man. In this universe if God does not gain a group of people, He is a homeless God. Likewise, if we do not obtain God, we are homeless people. Let me ask all of you, where do you live? Someone may say that he lives on Ren Ai Road, while another one says that he lives on Shin Yi Road. May I ask you, do you really live in those places? If you only have a house that you purchased or that you rent, you are a homeless person! If your circumstances were to change a little, or if something were to happen to you, you would not know where to go. Man’s eternal dwelling place is God. Without God, man is without a home on earth. Therefore, in the Psalms a godly saint of old said, “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place / In all generations” (90:1). What this psalmist seemed to say was, “Our forefathers throughout the generations all dwelt in You, and today we also dwell in You.” The earthly dwelling places are not our homes. Our eternal dwelling place is our God. The Lord Himself is our home, our resting place. When we have Him, we have real rest.
Today many people have mobile homes. Thank and praise the Lord, every one of us who has God has a “mobile home” following us all the time. When we are on a train, He follows us. When we are in an airplane, He also follows us. We are people who have God, so we are no longer homeless. Today we do not need to rest our head on a stone; rather, we can rest our whole being in God. We are His dwelling place, and He is also our habitation.
Jeremiah 50:7b says, “They [the children of Israel] have sinned against Jehovah, / The habitation of righteousness, / Even Jehovah, the hope of their fathers.” This God is the habitation of their fathers and their habitation. Do not think that the children of Israel dwelt in the land of Israel. The land of Israel was not their dwelling place. God was their dwelling place. While they were dwelling in God, they were dwelling in the land of Israel outwardly. Thus, when God left them due to their abnormal condition, He also drove them away from the land of Israel. Therefore, the land of Israel was not their dwelling place. Only God Himself was their dwelling place.
GOD’S BUILDING AS THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE ISSUING FROM THE MUTUAL ABIDING OF GOD WITH MAN
The whole universe needs a building for God to dwell in man as His abode, and man to dwell in God as his abode. God and man are a mutual abode to each other. Without man, God is a wandering God, a homeless God. In the same way, without God, man is a wandering man, a homeless man.
Therefore, God intends to have a building in this universe in which God is built into man and man is built into God, so that God and man, man and God, can be a mutual abode to each other. First John 4:13 says, “In this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit.” Today God is building us into a spiritual house, the temple of God, a universal building, and a universal house, so that God may have a home and man also may have a dwelling place. In this way both God and man may have rest.
The ultimate manifestation of this building is the New Jerusalem. In this city, God is in man, taking man as His dwelling place, and man is in God, having God as his habitation. This is a glorious matter. This is the work God wants to do today.
(The Building Work of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)