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Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens
with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the
apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole
building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too
are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Chapter 1
The Eternal Conception and Decision Ezra 6.

...We find the explanation of God's whole purpose in the sixth chapter of the book
of Ezra: “Let the house be builded” (Ezra 6:3).
That is God’s all-inclusive object. You
notice that Ezra traced this decree back through and beyond the instrument, the ruler who
made it. He traced it back to God. He recognized that this decree, while made by an earthly
ruler, originated with God (v.22). He said: ‘God put it into the heart of the king.’ (7:27) This
came from God. And, having shown that it originated with God, in the rest of the story he
shows how God, in sovereign ways, committed Himself to it. God instigated this; God
supported this; and, in spite of numerous and great difficulties, God consummated this.
“Let the House be Builded”
by T. Austin-Sparks
"...I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Mathew
The words: Church, Tabernacle, Temple, Body, House, Abode, City, among others all
describe what God is doing between Him and His people that will fulfill His hearts desire for
eternity. In the book of Ezra He uses the term House. In our time we use the word CHURCH.
This house - “Let the house be builded” - is only an earthly, temporary, limited
representation of the vast eternal, spiritual thought of God.
It is but a poor
representation, and it will pass; but God’s thought will never pass. What lies behind it will
have no end: it has come out of Eternity; it will go on to Eternity. And the whole Bible is just
a manifold expression of this principle. From beginning to end, in its numerous forms of
presentation and representation, in its types, symbols and figures, the whole Bible is one
comprehensive and many-sided expression of this one idea that lies here inherent in this
word ‘House’.
We must always remember that when we are handling the Bible; otherwise we
shall “wrongly divide” the Word of Truth.
The full design of God governs every part, as
far as He is concerned. God’s mind does not grow. There is no progress with God; He is full
and complete and final at all times.  God has brought His thoughts into time by means of
models and figures, but they are only models and figures of spiritual and eternal realities.
And the principle is this, that whatever comes from God, at any time from our standpoint,
from this world’s standpoint -whatever comes from God, however partial it may seem to be,
has in it the eternal and complete thought of God. It contains within itself the whole of the
spiritual mind of God. We have to look through the immediate form of presentation, to
discover the spiritual and eternal thought that lies there.
A writer of one of the New Testament documents introduced his thesis in these words: “God,
having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets... in diverse manners...” (Heb 1:
1). God did speak in time, at different times, in different manners and different portions; but,
with God, the whole, from eternity, was present, and every part that came from Him had the
whole in it.
God may accommodate Himself to the time-periods of men and this earth, but He Himself
dwells in Eternity: His thoughts are eternal thoughts; His purpose is an eternal purpose. The
architect has the whole plan before him; the builder only has the day-to-day part or parts.
Those who only see the parts may be confused; they may not understand; they may even
begin to take the part for the whole.
That brings us to a vital and fundamental principle of Biblical interpretation. It is a
thing that everybody who handles the Word of God ought to recognize, and when we take
up our Bibles it ought always to be present. It is simply the eternity of God. That bare
statement perhaps does not convey very much to you at first. But the great fact is that there
is no time with God. All ‘time’, as it is with us, is ‘present’ with God; with Him there is no past,
present, future. He is the Eternal God - “from eternity to eternity Thou art God” (Ps 90:2).
The Eternity of God
If that was true then, we want to discover how it can be true in our time. I believe
that all the people of God, all  true Christians, are deeply desirous of knowing, in our time,
what it is that God has instigated, what it is that God takes upon Himself to support and see
through, what it is that, in spite of everything - a great, vast everything - God will finish. We
want to discover how God will commit Himself.
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