This week in the morning revival we come to the last section of Ezekiel which focuses on God’s building; God’s eternal purpose is to have a building as a mingling of Himself with His chosen people, and all He does on earth is for His building.
From the very beginning, when He created man, God desired to obtain a corporate expression in man, which is His building. Then, when He called Abraham, God came and met with him again and again at his tent – Abraham’s tent became the building of God.
Later, when God gained a people, Israel, they set up and built a tabernacle, which was the portable building of God, where God met with man and man met with God. Later in the good land, Solomon built up a temple according to God’s specifications and his father’s set up, and this temple was filled with God’s glory; now God had a solid building, a solid dwelling place among man.
The history of the people of Israel revolves around the temple, which is the building of God; when the temple is built and properly maintained, the people of Israel flourish and express God, but when the temple is neglected or lost, God’s people lose God’s expression and are under the usurpation or in captivity.
In Ezekiel 40-48 we see a vision of God’s temple with all kinds of details and measurements; this temple was not yet built, and it is more detailed and greater than any temple built by God’s people.
The temple in the vision of Ezekiel will be built in the restoration of the nation of Israel, after the Lord returns, and in this temple the restored people of Israel will serve God for one thousand years. The building of God is the goal of the book of Ezekiel, and the goal of God’s work in man and with man.
The end of the book of Ezekiel is concerning God’s building; the end of the Bible – in the book of Revelation – is also on God’s building. What God desires to gain is His building, the corporate expression of the Triune God.
This week we want to enjoy, dive in, and apply to our spiritual experience the many outstanding features of the building of God, as depicted in the vision given by God to Ezekiel. May we have the Lord’s personal, intimate, affectionate, and loving speaking to us concerning His building for the preparation of His bride!
God’s Purpose is to have a Building as a Mingling of Himself with His Chosen People
God’s eternal purpose is to have a building as a mingling of Himself with His chosen people, and whatever God does among His people and among the nations is for His building.
The book of Ezekiel ends with the building of God, and the book of Revelation – which is parallel to the book of Ezekiel – also concludes with God’s building, His ultimate building, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:2-22:5).
In Ezekiel 40:1-48:35 we see a full vision with many details and principles concerning the building of God, and we as believers need to look with our eyes, hear with our ears, and set our heart on what the Lord shows us concerning His building.
Two very outstanding matters in the Bible are the mingling of God with man and the oneness of the Body of Christ. The oneness of the Body of Christ is like a “thermometer” to the mingling of God with man; if we keep the oneness of the Body and practice the one accord, this is a proof that we are in the mingling of God with man.
From Genesis to Revelation, God’s eternal purpose is to have a building as a mingling of Himself with His people. The history of the building of God through the Bible shows us God’s desire to gain a building as a mingling of God with man.
Footnote 1 on Ezek. 40:1 opens up the matter of God’s building through the Bible and introduces the vision of God’s building in Ezekiel,
After the destruction of the temple built by Solomon (2 Kings 25:8-9), the temple was rebuilt by the captives who returned from Babylon (Ezra 3:6b-13; 6:13-15). Later, this temple was replaced by Herod’s temple, which was built in forty-six years (John 2:20). Herod’s temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army under Titus (Dan. 9:26; Matt. 23:38; 24:2). Neither the temple in Ezra’s day nor the temple of Herod’s time was the full recovery of the temple built by Solomon. However, the temple of Ezekiel’s vision was a more than a full recovery of Solomon’s temple. Although the temple itself was the same size as the one built by Solomon (Ezek. 41:2, 4; cf. 1 Kings 6:2), a number of details related to the gates, the courts, and the buildings around the temple in Ezekiel’s vision indicate an enlargement over Solomon’s temple. Thus, beginning with Abraham’s tent (see footnote 1 on Gen. 13:18), progressing to the tabernacle and then to Solomon’s temple, and concluding with the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, there is a continual progression in the enlargement of God’s building in the Old Testament. This enlargement signifies a continual increase in the experience of Christ by God’s people (cf. footnote 1 on 1 Kings 6:2). God’s building in the Old Testament prefigures God’s spiritual building in the New Testament, which begins with Jesus Christ, the incarnated God, as God’s tabernacle (John 1:14) and God’s temple (John 2:19-21), advances to the church, the Body of Christ, as the enlargement of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 2:20-22), and consummates with the New Jerusalem as the ultimate manifestation and enlargement of God’s building in eternity (Rev. 21:2-3, 15-17). (Ezek. 40:1, note 1, Recovery Version)
The literal interpretation and application of God’s building in Ezekiel 40-48 will be fulfilled in the restoration, when the restored Israel will rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem for their dwelling with God in the millennium.
However, the spiritual significance of all the details of the temple should be applied to us as the New Testament believers, since we are the components of God’s spiritual building, the church.
All the specific details of the temple are very significant in the spiritual realm, and we need much prayerful study under God’s light that we would enter into their application for the building up of the church as the building of God.
We need to live in the mingling of God with man, and we need to have a continual progression and advance in our experience of Christ for God’s building. We need to have a continual increase in our experience of Christ to match His enlarged expression in the temple.
Lord, may we see God’s eternal purpose to have a building as a mingling of Himself with His chosen people. Amen, Lord, mingle Yourself with us more today for the building up of the church, the Body of Christ! Show us a vision of God’s building. Lord, we want to set our eyes and heart and entire being on Your purpose and the fulfillment of Your purpose, which is Your building. May our experience of Christ increase daily so that it would match the enlarge expression of God in the temple, the building of God.
In order to See the Building of God, we need More Maturity in Life
It is very interesting to realize that, in order to see a vision of the building of God, we need to have more maturity in life. When Ezekiel saw the first vision – in Ezek. 1, he was thirty years of age, and it was in the fifth year of the captivity of God’s people.
When he saw the vision of God’s building it was twenty years later, when he was fifty, in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity of Israel. Twenty years have passed, and Ezekiel had many experiences of God in life; now he was qualified to see God’s building.
When Ezekiel had the visions of God in Ezek. 1, he was right at the age when a priest would begin to function (Ezek. 1:1); when he saw the vision of God’s building twenty years later (Ezek. 40:1), he was at the age of retirement for a priest (Num. 4:3).
For us to see a vision of God in His glory and His move on earth, as Ezekiel did, we need to have a certain growth in life, and the vision will come to us. However, we need to have more maturity in life in order for us to see a vision of God’s building, for it is the heart’s desire of God, the consummation of His purpose.
This is the reason that many believers today don’t see the vision of God’s building – they don’t have a proper growth unto maturity in the divine life, so they are not qualified to see it.
We need to grow in life unto maturity day by day and experience Christ in many aspects so that we may reach the stage where we can see a vision of God’s building and His desire to obtain the church as the building of God.
Lord Jesus, we want to grow in life unto maturity so that we may be qualified to see a vision of God’s building. Grant us the experiences of Christ and the daily growth in life so that we may have the level of maturity required to see the building of God. Amen, Lord, may Your heart’s desire become our heart’s desire, and Your purpose become our purpose. Grow in us day by day. May You increase and we decrease. Bring us to maturity so that we may see Your building and be fully for Your building!
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, msg. 19 (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:
# Our God is a God of purpose, / What He plans, He will fulfill! / Genesis to Revelation / Shows His full and glorious will. / What He’s after is a building. (Hymns #1324)
# Building, building, we will see the building / Of the church this way: / Christ experienced will produce the building— / He’s the only way. / Oh, build us, Lord, we pray, / By growth of life each day. / Oh, make us now such men / For the new Jerusalem. (Hymns #1240)
# “Amen, Jesus,” is our prayer / To the purging work, whate’er; / Now Thy church must desperate be / More the growth in life to see. / O Lord, make Thy home our heart, / Our true inner man Thou art; / God and man are mingled thus— / Christ, the church, all glorious! (Hymns #1239)
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