The Divine Architect and Builder

ABRAHAM EXERCISED REMARKABLE faith. He was looking forward to the city with foundations, “whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10, New International Version) To Abraham, God had graciously revealed certain features of his wonderful plan. For example, “The Lord said unto Abram, … Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” (Gen. 13:14,15) This promise has not been fulfilled, but will be in due time.

Other Divine promises were also made to this faithful patriarch, which are yet to have fulfillment, including, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) It is noted that in these promises there is no indication to Abraham that he would obtain a heavenly inheritance—immortality, the Divine nature, joint-heirship with Jesus in glory.

The promises made to Abraham relate to an earthly inheritance, and he “died in faith, not having received the promises.” (Heb. 11:13) It should be understood that he looked for a country under heavenly direction and blessing, with government regulations, laws, and arrangements that are heavenly—not earthly, selfish, imperfect. This is a faint glimpse, surely, of the earthly phase of God’s kingdom.

Abraham had faith in God and in the Divine promises, whereas mankind in general today is not thus looking for a government in the earth whose ‘architect and builder is God.’ However, our Father in heaven has a wonderful plan for the establishment of his glorious kingdom in the earth.

Abraham looked for this kingdom, this ‘city,’ in the earth. It is symbolically described in Revelation 21:2: “I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” In symbol, a city signifies a government, and this city, or government, which Abraham waited for was not man-made or earthborn, but spiritual in every sense of the word. It comes ‘down,’ to exercise the powerful, holy influences of the heavenly phase of God’s glorious kingdom—his rule, his government—which will be established in all the earth.

The Revelator continues, “I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3) The Tabernacle in Israel was the place where, typically, atonement for sin was made through the offering of sacrifices. The tabernacle mentioned in this scripture will indeed be the meeting place between God and all the world of mankind. Through this heavenly structure—Christ and his glorified church—invisible to men, yet all-powerful, will be the means whereby God will visit and speak to humanity, offering them pardon and peace, based upon the “better sacrifices.”—Heb. 9:23

It cannot be supposed that Abraham could realize in detail the immensity and grandeur of the scene in the completed kingdom of God in the earth; nor could he measure the stupendous amount of preparatory work involved. But today, the footstep followers of Jesus are being taught by God concerning his plans for the establishment of his kingdom. He teaches us through his Word of Truth, which is beautifully revealed to our minds by the Holy Spirit; and in granting this understanding, God has richly lavished upon us his wondrous grace.

The divinely promised, worldwide result of God invisibly dwelling with mankind, will be that he will “wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” (Rev. 21:4) Here is a greatness and splendor completely surpassing any previous experience of mankind in the earth.


Respecting God’s dealings with one nation only—the Israelites of old—we recall that the Lord, speaking to Moses, said, “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exod. 25:8) God is a spirit being, invisible to the human eye. Heaven is his dwelling place. (II Chron. 6:30) But here we note that he expressed his desire to dwell with Israel. “I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.” (Exod. 29:45) “I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel.”—Num. 35:34

In this connection, the significance of both the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Jewish Temple of old was that each, in turn, served as the recognized, visible dwelling place of Jehovah among his people Israel. “There [in the Most Holy apartment] I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims.” (Exod. 25:22) “O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims.”—II Kings 19:15

This was a very great favor granted to God’s chosen people Israel. A continuance of this marvelous arrangement was conditional, and the conditions had been plainly declared to Israel. History shows that God did not thus continue to dwell among the children of Israel, and the reason for this is given in the Scriptures. It was “because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them.”—II Chron. 7:22

Jesus, at his First Advent, announced to Israel, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:38) The children of Israel, who rejected Jesus during his earthly ministry, allowed the heavenly calling of God to pass them by. As a people, they are not eternally lost, but they have, through unbelief and disobedience, lost that chief favor of forming part of the spiritual, heavenly phase of God’s kingdom. God has not permanently cast off natural Israel whom he foreknew. He merely turned them aside temporarily during the Gospel Age that, in the interim, he may call, test, and develop a spiritual Israel. The Scriptures reveal that not forever is natural Israel’s unbelief and rejection of Messiah to continue. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Then ungodliness will be turned away from Jacob.—Rom. 11:2-5,25,26

Out of the climax of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), yet future, there will be for Israel a salvation, not merely from economic insecurity, and from the hands of all who oppose and oppress them, for they will experience the complete recovery of all the promised land. They will also be saved from their blindness respecting God’s plans, and his beloved Son as their Messiah.

There will be a salvation from sin and death, together with rich earthly blessings under the New Covenant. “The days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.” (Jer. 31:31) God will make his “holy name known in the midst” of his people Israel, and the nations also will know that he is the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.—Ezek. 39:7

In the eleventh chapter of Romans, details are given concerning the rejection of natural Israel followed by the gathering of spiritual Israel, showing that subsequently there is the giving of God’s blessing through spiritual Israel to reclaim natural Israel. The Apostle Paul concludes with the exclamation: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”—Rom. 11:33

Prophecy shows that God would assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah. (Jer. 31:10) Further, “I will plant them [my people Israel] upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”—Amos 9:15

Despite opposition from men and nations, God would plant his people Israel upon that land; and because of continued opposition he will, in his own due time, go forth and fight for them, as he fought for them of old in the day of battle. (Zech. 14:3) In the grand outworking of the Divine plan, God will do wondrous things in the earth, for and through natural Israel, and the blessings will extend to all peoples, to the end that God’s long prayed-for kingdom in the earth will be established.


While the earthly phase of God’s kingdom is most urgently needed by mankind, it cannot be established without the assistance of the spiritual, heavenly kingdom. Nothing short of the exercise of almighty power will suffice. “In mount Zion [spiritual] and in Jerusalem [earthly] shall be deliverance.” (Joel 2:32) Jerusalem is dependent upon Zion, for “there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer.”—Rom. 11:26

Concerning the fully consecrated children of God—spiritual Israel—who continue faithful unto death, it is written, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”—Rev. 20:6

The call of spiritual Israelites to joint-heirship with Jesus in his spiritual kingdom is extended during the Gospel Age only, and will, ere long, be closed. Their change of nature from human to spiritual begins with the begetting of the Holy Spirit following full consecration to the will of God, and will be completed in the first resurrection when born to the Divine nature.

The great work before this glorious, anointed company necessitates their exaltation to the Divine nature. No other than Divine power could accomplish so mighty a task. Theirs is to be a work, pertaining not only to this world, but also to things in heaven—among spiritual as well as human beings.

Those who experience this first resurrection have a very exalted place and occupation. In recounting what he saw on the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John refers to them as “kings and priests.” (Rev. 5:10) In other scriptures they are identified as judges. (I Cor. 6:2,3) These are not just titles, but are full of significance, and mean that those to whom they are given share with Christ in the administration of the government of the whole world. As kings, they are to rule. As judges, they are to judge, and to administer and execute justice. As kingly priests they are to be entrusted with the cares, responsibilities, and the great privileges of a royal priesthood.

It is recorded by the Revelator that this heavenly government, or “city,” is “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2) The true church which will constitute this spiritual structure is caused to pass through trying experiences in her earthly state, in order that she might be prepared and fitted to occupy such a grand, exalted position as kings and priests with Christ. She will be adorned with Christlikeness, and this will include the glory, grandeur, and perfection of this Divine government in its heavenly assemblies, and legislative enactments, that have for their purpose the uplifting of humanity.

During that great judgment or trial of the world, when the earth will rejoice (Isa. 35:1; 49:13), there will be the great reawakening of earth’s dead billions, and mankind will have the glorious opportunity of gradually being brought up to a condition of mental, moral, and physical perfection, and live forever in a perfected earth. But those who refuse to comply with the requirements of that kingdom, and are incorrigibly wicked, determined not to progress up the highway of holiness (Isa. 35:8), will, after a full and fair opportunity, be mercifully cut off, destroyed (not subjected to eternal torment), for God will not permit any such blot to exist in his eternal kingdom.—Acts 3:23

During the passing of approximately six thousand years, God has patiently waited, bearing with great longsuffering the errors of man-made creeds, and the enmity and wickedness of those who knew him not—waiting with infinite condescension and patience for the various phases in the development of his great and glorious plan to be fulfilled. Throughout this period, his sun has risen upon the just and the unjust. (Matt. 5:45) His rains have fallen, and the seasons have pursued their ceaseless round, bringing forth his bounty to all, even though the recipients thereof were thankless.

But at the close of the thousand-year reign of Christ with his faithful, glorified footstep followers, God’s glorious plan, and its accompanying blessings for obedience, will be enjoyed by all mankind. The whole earth will unite in anthems of praise in which the choirs of the angels gladly join, and the great kingdom of life, joy, and peace will stand forever.

In Abraham’s day, it was not the intention of God then to fulfill his promise to that faithful patriarch concerning the land of Palestine. “He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him.” (Acts 7:5) However, God is faithful who promised. When Abraham is brought forth from his long sleep of death, he will speedily learn, and very joyfully and gratefully appreciate, that all his expectations have been realized, and much more besides.

Abraham, when raised to life, with faithful ones of natural Israel, will possess the land of Palestine as promised by God, and these Ancient Worthies will be made “princes in all the earth.” (Ps. 45:16) Being resurrected to perfect human conditions (Heb. 11:40), they will live and work under the holy, heavenly direction and influence of Christ with his glorified church. They will be leaders of the people; visible representatives of God’s kingdom in the earth, serving in the interests of the New Covenant. Then worldwide kingdom blessings will flow out to all people.

Today, the fully consecrated children of God, having heard and with joy responded to the heavenly calling, are giving diligence to make their calling and election sure. Thrones of earth cannot be compared with this inheritance that fadeth not away. To all who have been begotten unto this living hope, our beloved Lord’s exhortations through the Revelator are, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”—Rev. 2:10; 3:11,21

This faithfulness unto death includes our shining as “lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life.” (Phil. 2:15,16) Today is still the acceptable time, a day of salvation for the true church. When completed and glorified, the church will, with her Lord, be given “for a covenant [the New Covenant] of the people [the world of mankind, not the church], to establish the earth [and this is what Abraham looked forward to, and will eventually experience], to cause to inherit the desolate heritages [the restored race of humanity will truly inherit the endowments, mental, moral, and physical, originally conferred on father Adam]; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.”—Isa. 49:8-11

All who are locked up in the prison-house of death will hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth to a resurrection of judgment. It will be gradual under the disciplines and rewards of the Millennial Age. (Isa. 49:8-11; John 5:28,29, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) Confident of the near completion of the glorified church, and in full assurance of faith, we continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”—Matt. 6:10

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |