After revealing the pattern, design, and features of the house of God to Ezekiel in a vision, God instructed him to describe God’s house to God’s people so that they would be measured by the house of God and be ashamed of their iniquities (see Ezek. 43:10-12).
This is something very deep, profound, and mysterious, yet something that is on God’s heart both in the Old and in the New Testament. God wants His people to be measured by the house of God, by its pattern with its features and design, so that they would know how to live, conduct, and behave in the house of God.
God’s building, the church in this age, is what is in God’s heart; He desires to gain a building, a corporate expression of Himself, according to the specifications and requirements He has in His heart.
First of all, the only One who can build the church as the house of God is Christ, and if we allow Christ to work Himself and build Himself into us, we become one with Him for His house, being suitable materials for the church.
God doesn’t want us to do something for Him, and even if we desire to build the church, He wants us to STOP and first let Him build Himself into us, saturate us, and permeate us, and something will come out of our God-constituted being that will be suitable for God’s building.
Christ is the One who builds the church as God’s house, and He is also the element with which the church is built. As we allow Christ to make His home in our heart, He makes us the same as He is, the material for the building of the house of God.
Then, he will seek, through the way ordained by God, to perfect us to do the same work that He is doing – build up the church. First Christ builds Himself into us by entering into our spirit, and from there He spreads Himself into all the inward parts of our being, our mind, emotion, and will, to occupy and saturate our soul.
As He is mingling Himself with us, we become an organic part of God’s building, and we cooperate with Him for the building up of the church. Now we need to go further to realize that God wants His people to be measured by God’s building, measured by God’s house.
Not just measured for His house, as seen later with the measuring for the flow to increase, but to be measured by the house of God. As we approach this matter, it is good to open to the Lord and ask Him,
Lord Jesus, we open to You as wide as we can so that You may minister to us and shine on us concerning being measured by the house of God. Grant us a calm, clear, and pure spirit, with no rush to conclusions or to do something. We just want to touch something of Your heart’s desire, something of what You desire to accomplish in us, Your people. Lord, what does it mean to be measured by Your house? How does this apply to our living? Shine on us, Lord, and reveal to us the real meaning and application of this word.
The Temple of God is the Pattern: God wants us to be Measured by the House of God
The Lord instructed Ezekiel the prophet to describe the house of God to His people so that they would be measured by the house and be ashamed of their iniquities (Ezek. 43:10-12).
They were to measure the pattern, know the design of the house, its arrangements, its exits, its entrances, its whole design, and all its statutes, so that they would be exposed and repent of their iniquities and shortcomings.
God didn’t tell Ezekiel to read the Ten Commandments or the Law to His people; rather, He told Ezekiel to show the house of God to His people so that they would be measured by the house of God.
The temple of God is a pattern, and God wants His people to be measured by it; if God’s people would examine themselves in the light of this pattern, they would know their shortcomings. In Moses’ time, God’s pattern and rule by which He measured His people was the law with its ordinances; but now God’s rule is the house of God.
God intends to check the living and conduct of His people by His house, His habitation, as a rule and pattern. Our living as people of God has to match the temple of God. When we see the pattern of the church, the house of God, with its design, features, arrangements, and principles, we will be exposed of our sins and shortcomings, and we will be ashamed of our iniquities.
Most believers today, however, feel that moral regulations and spiritual principles are sufficient as rules for their behavior and conduct, and not many realize that God wants to measure His people by His house.
Most believers behave according to the moral law of God; the ceremonial part and ordinances of the law was abolished by Christ on the cross, but the moral law which expresses God in His morality still remains.
However, there are some other believers who desire to be spiritual, have certain spiritual habits, keep some spiritual principles, and seek to be victorious and overcoming for the Lord. Even such a seeking is not enough, for God wants His people to be measured by the house of God.
Today more than ever this is what’s on God’s heart: He wants us to know how to behave and conduct ourselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15-16).
He doesn’t want us to behave merely according to moral principles or spiritual principles but conduct ourselves in God’s house by being regulated by the house of God with its pattern, design, and features.
Being spiritual may still be something independent unless we are measured by the house of God. May we go further and allow the Lord to measure us according to His building.
Lord Jesus, save us from merely behaving ourselves according to moral regulations or spiritual principles. Grant us to see the pattern of the house of God. Show us a vision of God’s building with its features, design, entrance, exits, and pattern, so that our daily living may be measured by the house of God and not merely by moral or spiritual principles. We want to know how to conduct ourselves in the church as the house of God, the pillar and base of the truth.
When God’s Light Shines on us, we will be Measured by the House of God for the Body
There are two ways that we as believers may evaluate ourselves in relation to the Lord, which give us a consciousness and awareness of certain shortcomings or needs that we have.
One way of measure is moral regulations, since the moral law of God goes on; whenever we transgress, we have a feeling, we confess our sin, and we are measured by this law.
Then there’s the measure of spiritual principles such as having morning revival, reading the word of God and the ministry, praying, sharing the gospel, etc. There are many spiritual principles which are necessary, and when we are short, we are aware of it.
But there’s a whole another realm of which we are oblivious, totally clueless, and, unknown to us, we make mistake after mistake in our living, fellowship, and meetings, with no awareness of it. This is the matters in our person, disposition, being, temperament, demeanor, behavior, speaking, our way of praying, calling hymns, fellowshipping, etc – a vast realm of things that are constantly hindering the building up of God’s house.
The only way we can be aware of this is if we spend time with the Lord to have His light shine on us. We need to personally receive the vision of God’s house with all its details, just as Ezekiel and the apostle John did. God wants to measure our being and living not just by moral regulations or spiritual principles but by the building of God.
When we see such a vision of God’s house with its design and pattern, we will be humiliated, lowered in our assessment, and we will have an understanding of our being, living, and doing in relation to the building.
As brother Ron Kangas was sharing in this message, I just want to echo his words and his assessment of the situation. There are many examples and cases in the church life that show how we do not yet know how to behave in the house of God.
For example, we may pray a lot in the prayer meeting, or we may pray incoherently, we may interrupt others in their prayer, or we may not follow the burden in the prayer. At the Lord’s table meeting, we may call the first hymn – and this is the one we like, not matching the burden.
We may not be aware of our need to speak and prophesy after a weighty message, or let others with more growth in life speak first. We may overstep and over function, interfering with the order in the work, dictating to the ministry, or function too much. When the vision of God’s building comes, there will be an impact.
Some brothers may assume to take the lead in the church, appointing themselves as leading ones, and thus holding the saints back in their growth and experience of life.
Some brothers have the attitude of being above getting a job, thus being abnormal and affecting the church life. Many saints are disconnected and isolated; they may meet but they are not built up, and by their prayer you realize they are on an island by themselves, with no consciousness of the Body or of the meeting.
Some brothers may be authoritarian in the way they take the lead, quick to use the word “rebels”, and dictating to the saints what to do. Oh Lord Jesus! We may be blind to our disposition, of how it affects God’s building.
We may be political rather than genuine, being blind to our peculiarity and culture, unable or unwilling to coordinate with others. In the matter of seeing the pattern of God’s house no one can help us: we need to have the Lord’s light in a direct way.
We can’t shepherd others into seeing this – only the Spirit of reality knows when and how we will see the pattern of the house of God to be measured by it. Paul saw the heavenly vision and it blinded him outwardly, but inwardly he was clear.
We may get an initial understanding of what the Lord wants, but when the light come, we will be measured by the house of God. The consequences and results are at least eightfold:
- We are truly humbled, even reduced to nothing, for God has this vast building and we are part of it; all we do and say, together with our attitude, is being exposed, and we are humbled in God’s light.
- Self is dethroned: such a vision of God’s house with its pattern will dethrone us, and self-will no longer govern.
- We begin to know ourselves in relation to the building; we will now realize that we have a limit, a measure, and a function, and we are exposed when we are out-of-order. It is the pattern of the house and the vision of the design that measures us.
- There will be a deep and thorough repentance of things we were never of before. The Lord will expose us, showing us how we behave, speak, and do things, and as we repent, we are full of joy to be a little part of the city of God, one of the tens of millions of the sons of God in the New Jerusalem.
- We are released from the self, especially from being self-conscious and self-aware, and we will have a sense of the church, the spirits of the saints, of the direction in the meeting. We will enter into the consciousness of the Body, being deeply aware of what is going on.
- We become conscious of the Body and we sense the desire of God’s heart. We will have His desire burning in us day and night, and we will suffer when other members suffer, and rejoice with those who rejoice. We will experience the supply of the Body as never before.
- We realize that spirituality is a Body matter, and our praying, reading the Bible, and fellowship is all in another realm. We will pray in the Body, study the truth for the Body, and fellowship as members of the Body.
- We are normalized in our function by keeping all the principles of the Body.
Wow, what a revelation! I myself am not there yet, but I am glad to be under the speaking of the ministry and open to the Lord concerning this, that this would be worked out in me and in all the saints.
We really don’t know where we are and what we are until the Lord’s light shines on us, and then we will realize all these matters, and we will be measured by the house of God.
Lord Jesus, we need Your light to shine on us in Your time and in Your way concerning being measured by the house of God. May we receive a vision of the holy building of God with its design and pattern, so that what measures our living would be God’s house, His corporate expression. May our being, living, and doing be regulated not just by moral regulations or spiritual principles but be measured by the house of God. Lord, You know where we are and what we need. We open to You for Your light to shine on us in this matter!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 24 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 8 (week 20 in the HWMR), Being Measured by God’s Building.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Oh, may my spirit flow, / Oh, may it flow! / For this I seek Thee, Lord, / Oh, may it flow! / No more to isolate, / Nor self to perfect make, / My spirit nought abate, / Deeply to flow. (Hymns #846)
# In our ministry and service, / From the Body, our supply; / If detached and isolated, / Out of function we will die. (Hymns #913)
# Keep the order in the Body, / There to function in Thy will, / Ever serving, helping others, / All Thy purpose to fulfill. (Hymns #840)
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