In the vision Ezekiel saw of the holy building of God, the first thing he saw was the wall around the house, which typifies Christ as the separating line of God’s building; then, he saw the gate, which signifies Christ as the way for us into God and His interests.
There are many details and specifications of the wall and the gate, and there are many other details concerning each and every part of the temple of God in Ezekiel, and if we would just read these and open to the Lord, we may get some light; however, it is very helpful to have the ministry of the age which opens up the depth and width of the riches in God’s word.
We need to be those who look with our eyes, having a keen sight to see the vision of God’s building; we need to hear with our ears, listening intently to the Lord’s speaking; and we need to set our heart on all that the Lord shows us concerning His building.
The desire of God’s heart is to obtain a building, His temple, His dwelling place; the consummation of God’s purpose is a building, which in the Old Testament was the temple with the city, and the New Testament is the church consummating in the New Jerusalem.
We need to be those like Ezekiel and like John who, when they saw the vision of God’s holy building, were taken by the Lord and brought up on a high mountain in spirit to see the vision.
This means that the vision of God’s building is not something merely for our mind to understand but for our spirit to see, be impressed with, and have its application in our experience.
At the gate of the building is Christ as the man of bronze; He was tested by God’s judgement and, having passed through God’s judgement, now He is fully qualified to measure what belongs to God’s building.
We as living stones in God’s building and members of the Body of Christ need to be measured by Christ, allowing Him to judge and remove anything that doesn’t match His holy nature, so that we may be possessed by Him for His building.
May we have a prayerful attitude toward the Lord as we read the Bible, and in particular Ezekiel 40, so that we may be in spirit, on an elevated place, to see the vision of the holy building of God with all its details and specifications, so that these would become our experience in the church life today.
Christ as an Upright, Perfect, and Complete Man is the Separating Line of God’s Building
In Ezekiel 40-48 we see a vision of God’s building, and in particular a vision of the holy temple, the holy city, and the holy land.
First of all, there’s the vision of God’s holy temple, which is inside of the holy city. In His economy God always begins not from outside but from inside; He first regenerates our spirit (our innermost being), then He transforms our soul, and finally He saturates our body with His life (1 Thes. 5:23).
The first thing we see concerning the temple is the wall; the temple has a wall on all four sides, and the wall is six cubits high and six cubits wide. A wall is for separation, stopping what is outside from coming inside.
The wall around the temple separates what belongs to God from what cannot belong to Him – it is a separating line between what belongs to God and what should never belong to Him.
What is the spiritual application of this wall? It is Christ Himself as the separating line; whatever is within Christ belongs to God’s interests and God’s building, but whatever is outside of Christ is excluded from God’s interests and God’s building.
It is in Christ that all the building, being fitted together, grows together into a holy temple (Eph. 2:21). It is of God that we are in Christ Jesus, who has become both righteousness and sanctification and redemption to us (1 Cor. 1:30).
God put us in Christ, and every time we abide in Him and do things one with Him, we are within God’s building, for Christ Himself is the separating line of God’s building. Only what is included in Christ – only those who are included in Christ – belongs to God’s interests and God’s building.
The measurements of the wall were quite unusual: the height was six cubits and the width was also six cubits; a cross-section of the wall would be a square of six by six cubits. Six is the number of man, and the cross-section was square; the wall signifies the Lord Jesus as a square, upright, perfect, and complete man.
The Lord Jesus was tested, tried, and approved by God as a Man; He is upright, perfect, complete, and even resurrected. Christ is the separating line, the separating factor in God’s building. Only He is square and upright: only He is fully qualified for God’s building.
With Him there’s no fault, imperfection, lacking, or something crooked; rather, with Him everything is straight, upright, perfect, and complete. We need to be one with Christ and even be in Christ so that, in Him, we would be qualified for God’s building.
We shouldn’t try to “imitate Christ” in His perfectness or completeness; rather, we need to realize that He’s the only One who is perfect, square, complete, and upright, and we need to come to Him, enjoy Him, be filled with Him, and be slowly transformed and replaced by Him to become like Him for God’s building.
Only Christ living in us is the one qualified for God’s building.
For example, when He was twelve years old, He both was in the things of His Father, taking care of God’s interests, and He obeyed His parents at the same time. With us, we either carry out God’s interests or obey our parents, but Christ was complete, perfect, and upright.
Thank You Father for putting us in Christ Jesus, and in Him the whole building is growing into a holy temple in the Lord! We are now of God in Christ Jesus, and in Him and through Him we are qualified to be in God’s building. Amen, Lord, may we see Christ as an upright, perfect, and complete man, fully square and complete, as the separating line of God’s building. May our daily living with all its activities be in Christ and through Christ, so that whatever we do or say would be for the building up of the church as the temple of God.
Christ is the Gateway for us to Enter into God, God’s Interests, and God’s Building
If we come to the Lord in His word and compare ourselves with Him, we will be exposed and condemned, for we cannot live the kind of life He lived, we cannot express what He expressed, and we cannot do God’s will as He did. Only Christ is the perfect, complete, and upright man with the proper humanity suitable for God’s building and His interest.
The history of Jesus, though inspiring and uplifting, is at the same time a condemning factor to us, for we cannot live such a life. But praise the Lord, even though Christ is the separating line of God’s building (He’s the reality of the wall around the temple), He is also the gateway for us to enter into God and His interest!
On the one hand, Christ is the perfect, square, complete, and upright One who is the separating line of God’s building; on the other hand, He is the gateway for us to enter into God’s building. Christ is the gate: He is the door, the way to the Father, and no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
As the wall, Christ excludes us and condemns us, but as the gate, he brings us into His building. The reason we are in the sphere of God’s building today is because Christ as the gate has brought us in.
The reason we are now in the church as the building of God, caring for God’s interests and being for the building up of the Body, is because Christ has brought us in. And even more: He is producing us also to be gateways for others into God’s building.
As seen in Rev. 21:21, the gates of the New Jerusalem are pearls; the significance of a pearl is that we are being produced by Christ in His death and resurrection to be a gateway, an entrance, for many into God’s city, His kingdom, and His building.
The pearl is produced when a grain of sand enters into an oyster and wounds it; the oyster produces a secretion that coats the sand little by little, until a pearl is produced.
Christ is the living One, the reality of the oyster in the salty waters; He came in the world and we, as grains of sand, have wounded Him. He was wounded for our transgressions, but He didn’t reject us: He kept us in His wound, and He secrets His life around us to produce us as a pearl for the entrance of God’s building.
A pearl signifies regeneration through the death-overcoming and life-secreting Christ as the entrance into God’s building.
Praise the Lord, Christ brought us into God’s building as the gateway, and He is now also producing us to be gateways for others into God’s building!
Thank You Lord Jesus for being the entrance to God’s building for us to enter into God and into God’s interests, God’s building, and God’s kingdom. Hallelujah, our Christ is not only the perfect, upright, and complete One who excludes anything that is not like Him from God’s building, but He is also the gateway for us to enter into God! Keep us in Your death and resurrection, Lord, and infuse us with Your divine life so that we may become gateways into the holy city for many others!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msgs. 19-20 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 5 (week 17 in the HWMR), The Vision of the Holy Building of God in Its Outstanding Features.
- Hymns on this topic:
# I am crucified with Jesus, / And He lives and dwells with me; / I have ceased from all my struggling, / ’Tis no longer I, but He. / All my will is yielding to Him, / And His Spirit reigns within; / And His precious blood each moment / Keeps me cleansed and free from sin. (Hymns #564)
# By Thy separating blood, / We have all been sanctified; / ’Tis by Thy preserving blood / Holiness is testified. / By Thy propitiating blood, / We have all been justified; / ’Tis by Thy redeeming blood / God is fully satisfied. (Hymns #224)
# And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, / And may your spirit and soul and body / Be preserved complete, without blame, / At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Scripture song)
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