Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

The Immanuel Project: Chapter 7: The Immanuel Project Goal

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 27, 2009

Click here for Chapter 6

I started out this little book with the notion that it is all about Jesus.  It is very important to always keep in mind that we are not the center of the universe.  The Bible is not about us; it is about God.  Yes, we try to apply its principles to our lives.  We find meaning and purpose within it pages, but the reality is that God existed before man.   God wasn’t created for man’s pleasure; we were created for God’s pleasure.

This basic concept leads us to the goal of the Immanuel Project.  We see at the beginning of Scripture that God wanted to be with man and indeed, He walked with man on earth in a garden. We see the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 that God would come in flesh and that He would be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. 

We then find that a virgin girl in the middle of Israel territory became the portal for which God would finally enter our world to walk with man.  For thirty-three years, God could physically reach out and touch His created beings.  His compassion healed them, His love saved them and His power changed them.  Then He left. 

But before He went, He left a deposit… the Holy Spirit.  This part of God now indwells His people.  He gives character, power, boldness, gifts and callings.  He changes lives and enables Christians to live the Christian life.  Once again, the Immanuel is with us.  Only this time, He is not walking beside us, He is living in us.

But as Paul says, He is only a deposit to guarantee a future reward.  There is something greater coming.  One day soon, we will be in the presence of the Almighty.  We will see Him in all His fullness – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

But there is something so special about this reuniting moment that it absolutely blows away my mind. 

One day I was reading Revelation and ran across something that threw me for a loop.  I said to my self, “That can’t be right.”  I began searching the Scriptures to nullify or validate my finding and was shocked to find out it was true.

It starts in Revelation 21:1.  God makes a new Heaven and Earth. 

Wait a minute.  What was wrong with the old Heaven?  I can understand destroying the earth and rebuilding it, but Heaven?  What’s God doing? 

As we read on, we begin to discover some unique features of these new worlds.  Earth has no oceans.  I always thought that without water, you couldn’t have life.  Why did God vanquish the oceans?

God has basically rewritten all the laws again.  We won’t need water to live.

Verse three has a series of interesting statements, “[God] shall dwell among men, He shall dwell among them, they shall be His people and God himself with be with them.”

Three times in this verse we see Immanuel again. This time we see Immanuel in all His fullness.  When I saw this verse I was taken back because this is on earth.

Yes there is a new heaven and earth, but God isn’t going to stay in heaven.  He is coming back to earth to be with men.  The entire last two chapters of Revelation describe this moving party.  God is moving from heaven to earth.  The New Jerusalem is going to be our eternal home, and it’s not in heaven any longer. 

When Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to prepare a place for us so that we could be where He is, I don’t think anyone had in mind that it would be on earth, but God did.

This is huge!  What about all those songs, “When we all get to heaven…”, “If heavens not my home, oh Lord what will I do…”  Heaven is at best, transitional housing.  It was created for God’s angels.  One thing you don’t see in the New Jerusalem is angels.  Why?  Because they are in Heaven.

If I asked you to describe heaven to me, you would probably do what 99% of the Christians do, “Heaven has streets of gold, pearly gates and Peter is just outside of it with a list of people that can get in.”

Well, you might not add that last one, but you would still be wrong on the first two points.  The Bible only describes heaven a couple times.  One time we see God’s throne.  The second time we see a Temple. 

Hebrews tells us that this Temple is the real temple. The ones Moses and Solomon built on earth were copies of this original. 

Revelation 21:22 said there is no Temple in the New Jerusalem.  The Lamb would be the Temple.  Also, there is no sun because God’s glory would be its light.

Revelation 22 tells us that the New Jerusalem is the place that has the streets of gold, pearly gates, etc.

God has always been after living with His people.  God starts out walking in the garden of Eden with Adam; He later promises He will come as Emanuel.  After this He comes as a baby to grow up and live with man. Once He leaves, He send the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. And finally at the end, He prepares a huge 2000 cubic mile city in which He could call home.  He placed that mammoth city on the floor of earth and invited us to join Him.  This is what Immanuel is all about.

Whatever God has in store for us is right back here on a new earth.  He wants to do it with us.  He wants dwell with us.  Why? I don’t know.  But if it is truly all about God, this event more than any other should make you feel more passionate about your salvation than anything else you could possibly imagine.  God is with us; God wants to dwell in and with us. God is Awesome!


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