The desire of God’s heart is to have a dwelling place on earth with man, and we as believers in Christ are God’s people who are doing the work of building up God’s house – we are co-workers and co-builders with Christ, building the church as the dwelling place of God!
The work of the building up of the church is not a simple work; as seen in the type of the building of the tabernacle with all its details, building up of the church is a fine and detail work, and we need to be those qualified to do it.
The building up of God’s dwelling place – the church – is a noble work to be done by all of God’s people – however, the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and skill for this work must be God Himself as the Spirit to us.
It is not because we have good business and managerial skills obtained through our study and work that we are qualified to serve in the church, and it is not because we are full of zeal or love for the saints that we can build up the church in the way God desires us to.
We need to be filled with the Spirit and saturated with the Spirit so that the Spirit of God may build His own dwelling place through us. The wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and skill needed for the building up of the church come from the Spirit and His work in us.
We need to be those walking according to the divine nature (the gold), enjoy and help others enjoy the redemption of Christ (the silver), and know God’s righteous judgement (the bronze) as the materials for God’s work.
We need to be transformed into precious stones and be adjusted to fit in God’s building, and we need to cooperate with the Lord to help the saints be transformed into stones and to be adjusted to fit into God’s building.
We need to eat and drink the humanity of Jesus so that we may flow out His human living, and we need to cooperate with the Lord to work on the humanity of the saints for the sake of God’s building.
We need to have the finer virtues in the Lord’s human character and uplifted humanity, and we need to cooperate with the work of the Spirit in the saints so that they would have these finer virtues needed for the building up of the church as God’s dwelling place.
Being a Person Fully for God’s House with Strength and Support, Whether High or Low
Bezalel was the master builder chosen by God to oversee and carry out the work of the building of God’s tabernacle, and he was given a co-master builder, someone called Oholiab the Son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan (Exo. 31:6).
Oholiab means “the tent of my father”, indicating that his person was fully for God’s tabernacle, caring for God’s house to the uttermost. Ahisamach, the name of Oholiab’s father, means “a brother of strength or support”; he was strengthened and supported by the Lord and by his family to be for God’s house.
While Bezalel was from the tribe of Judah, the tribe of the kingship – and the tribe of the Lord Jesus (Gen. 49:10; Heb. 7:14), Oholiab was of the tribe of Dan, the lowest tribe (see Gen. 49:17).
Bezalel was from a high descent, being from the tribe of Judah, while Oholiab was from a low descent, being from the tribe of Dan; whether high or low, they both were chosen by the Lord, were filled with the Spirit, and worked together to build God’s dwelling place.
This shows that, no matter whether you are high or low, no matter of your background or descent, as long as you are one of God’s children, you must be included in the work of building the church as the house of God.
We see the same principle in the building of the temple under Solomon in 2 Chron. Solomon was the master builder, and he was from the tribe of Judah, but the co-master builder was again from the tribe of Dan, and even worse, he was the son of a Danite woman and of a Tyrian father (2 Chron. 2:11-14).
Such a one from such a low descent was chosen by God, prepared by Him, and used by Him for the building of His house on earth. No matter whether we are of a high-class and of a good origin, or whether we are low people from a not-so-good origin, as long as we are God’s children, we are qualified to build up the church.
We need to give ourselves to the Lord to be useful in His hand for His building, asking Him to burden us for His Body.
The Father supports us and strengthens us into our inner man with power through His Spirit so that Christ make His home in our heart for the building up of the church as the house of God (Eph. 3:16-19). As the Father strengthens us and sustains us, we love the Lord and we care for the church, and spontaneously we give ourselves for the building up of the church.
In the building of the church we learn to be coordinated, follow the instructions of the master builder, and build up the church according to God’s New Testament economy, the blueprint and the plan for God’s building.
For the work of His building the Lord pairs up high people and low people so that all may be perfected and function in their measure for the building up of the church, so that the Body would grow by building itself up in love (Eph. 4:11-16).
In the Body there’s no “high member” or “low member” – we are all one, we are all God’s co-workers, God’s co-builders, who may be of low descent but are now children of God included in the work of God’s building!
Thank You Lord for calling us, choosing us, and strengthening us to work together with You for the building up of the church. Lord, burden us for Your Body. Strengthen us into our inner man through Your Spirit, and may Christ make His home deep down in our heart for us all to be built together as the church, the Body of Christ. Lord, we give ourselves to You for Your building work. We want to be useful to You as members of Your Body, being joined and matched with the saints to do the building work.
Seeing the Vision of God’s Economy and being Coordinated to Build up the Church
Both Bezalel and Oholiab were skilled and wise men; Bezalel was the master builder, “the man with the plan”, and Oholiab most likely learned from him and received from him the blueprint, and then went to teach others.
Probably most of the teaching was done by Oholiab; the people of Israel and those who worked to build up and maintain the tabernacle needed much teaching concerning all the details and aspects of the tabernacle.
Here we see a pleasant and beautiful coordination between these two co-master builders to not only do the work of building but also teach God’s people concerning God’s house. Today in the building up of the church there’s the need of adequate teaching by some who are in a beautiful and pleasant coordination, some who are appointed by God and who have God’s blueprint concerning His house.
These need to be filled with wisdom of heart to both work for the building up of the church and to have the skills needed to perfect the saints to do the work of the building.
Exodus 35:35 says of Bezalel and Oholiab that they were filled with wisdom of heart to work all kinds of workmanship of an engraver or craftsman, the skilled workman, and the embroiderer in blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen. What is the difference between an engraver or craftsman and a workman? I believe that an engraver or craftsman has a special gift, whereas a workman does ordinary work with skill. The embroiderers, who may have been female workers, worked in blue, signifying heavenliness; in purple, signifying the kingship or royalty of Christ; in scarlet, signifying Christ’s redemption; and in fine linen, signifying Christ’s humanity. Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus, msg. 171
We need to be those who are in the word of God and under the ministry of the New Testament so that we can see a clear vision of God’s building and work together with the saints for the building up of the church according to the vision He has given us.
The matter of building the church is not something simple or common; it is a noble work which is detailed and fine.
Just as those who did the work of building the tabernacle had to have skills, wisdom, workmanship of engravers, be skilled workmen, know embroidery, and all kinds of carving of wood and setting of stones, so we need to learn the skills to build up the church by being under the speaking of God’s word and building the church under the vision of His economy.
The building up of God’s dwelling place, the church, is a fine and detailed work; we need to become the fine and detailed workers of God and co-builders of the church by receiving the apostles’ teaching and practicing it in a sweet, pleasant, and beautiful coordination with the saints.
Lord Jesus, cause us to see a vision of Your economy so that we may build up the church according to the blueprint and pattern You have revealed to us. Keep us under the ministry of the New Testament, the apostles’ teaching, so that we may learn to be coordinated and work together with the saints for the building up of the church. May we be those who have wisdom of heart and the skills needed to build up the church in a fine and detailed way according to the vision of God’s economy!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ed M. for this week, and Life-study of Exodus, msg. 171 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), msg. 11 (week 47 in the HWMR), The Workers of the Tabernacle and the Sabbath in Relation to the Building Work.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Be strong, be strong, God’s dwelling place to build! / The Lord of hosts is with us, with His glory ’twill be filled! / Be strong, be strong, and work in one accord, / That all the nations may behold the temple of the Lord. (Hymns #1254)
# By Thy Spirit daily strengthened / In the inner man with might, / I would know Thy love surpassing, / Know Thy breadth and length and height; / Ever of Thy riches taking, / Unto all Thy fulness filled, / Ever growing into manhood, / That Thy Body Thou may build. (Hymns #840)
# God would have a group of people / Built together in His plan, / Blended, knit, coordinated / As His vessel—one new man. / God would come into this vessel / With His nature, life and ways, / Mingling Spirit with our spirits / For His joy and to His praise. (Hymns #1325)
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