The design of God’s House is the expression of God’s nature.
Part of the reason we have a hard time understanding the Bible is because nobody set aside an “orientation day” to show us around.
Genesis chapters 1-3 give us the basic architecture which serves as the foundation for every event in the Bible. Not only this, it constructs the specially-designed “stage” within which all of the action takes place. Becoming familiar with this “performance space” will help you to feel right at home in the Bible. Instead of wandering around like you are lost in a maze, or suffering a constant state of culture shock, you will fit right in.
Here’s a short excerpt from an upcoming book, Bible Matrix III: The House of God, which uses Shakespeare’s Globe Theater as an illustration.
All The World Is A Stage
All the world really is a stage. In Creation, God calls things from nothing. By Covenant, He gives them differing roles and suitable authority. In His House, He prepares for them a place to perform.
The events of the Bible take place within a cosmic theater, one based upon the structure of heaven. Just as the plays of Shakespeare were written for the Globe Theatre, so the visions and prophecies of the Bible take place within a predetermined architectural space. The writers assume that we are familiar not only with the layout of this arena and the significance of the elements contained within it, but also with the relationships between those elements.
This means that an understanding of the symbolic significance of the physical elements in the literal, historical creation account in Genesis 1 is of critical importance. It gives us incredible insights into the structure of many prophetic Bible passages and the order of many historical events. The layout of the House of God informs not only the Law and the Prophets, but also the ministry of Jesus and the apostles. When we get to the Revelation, familiarity with this constructed “set” and its liturgical scenery is crucial to determining both its purpose and its fulfillment in Covenant history.
The fact that all of the Bible takes place within a “virtual reality” like the Globe Theatre does not abstract the Bible from reality. Rather, its liturgical architecture gives us the keys to understanding the cosmic, anatomical and social “houses” based upon the same plan, the houses in which we live and move and have our being.
As with all the best architects, the design of God’s House is the expression of God’s nature. The physical Creation and the human life which crowns it are also expressions of that nature. Thus, every aspect of human life is founded upon the same blueprint. The significance of each room and furnishing in God’s House is replicated in some way in the Church, in family life, in education, in law, in business, in the arts and sciences, in government and in international relations. An understanding of biblical architecture means we are not limited like unbelievers to simply figuring out, by trial and error, what works best. Being “at home” in the house of God not only makes plain to us what works but also gives us an insider’s knowledge of exactly why it works. Rather than remaining a mystery to Christians, a grounding in the architectural models in the Bible reveals the dwelling places of God as deep sources of life and wisdom.
To be at home in the House of God is to be at home in God’s world. We cease to cut against the grain of the way things are. We choose to live by God’s laws because we recognize them as tools for true progress and lasting beauty.
At the heart of this recognition is a new vision. A love for God and His ways displaces the idolatrous love of the world. Enamored instead with heaven, God’s people will consistently place the best gifts in this glorious world on the altar, in faith that God may send an even greater harvest.
As the “word-and-response” liturgical life of the heavenly Temple shapes our earthly thinking, we will be equipped to transform every aspect of this world into its Trinitarian likeness, so that God may be more and more at home here in the world of men. And, as with the Tabernacle and Temple, our obedience as Spirit-filled craftsmen will be vindicated finally by the visible presence of God Himself.