Since today we are no longer in the age of the law but in the age of the church, we need to keep the law of the house of God, and we need to fashion ourselves according to the church. Our main concern should not be with behaving ourselves or with becoming a spiritual person, but with fitting into the house of God.
We need to learn how to behave ourselves in the church, the house of God, so that the Lord would gain a building, a corporate expression on earth (1 Tim. 3:15). If we were concerned with fitting into God’s house there are at least four main matters we need to check with ourselves:
- Do we have the fellowship of the life-giving Spirit by calling on the name of the Lord, and do we have no escape routes from the church life? The temple has many windows, which signify the fellowship of the life-giving Spirit, keeping the opening for the divine communication and protecting from the invasion of all negative things. We need to daily call on the name of the Lord and enjoy the fellowship of the Spirit, being persons full or life and light. At the same time, we need to make sure we do not have doors to “escape the church life”.
- Is our humanity checked by God’s building, that is, is our humanity the humanity of Jesus? The only humanity that is suitable for God’s house is the uplifted, resurrected humanity of Jesus, and this humanity is in the Spirit of Jesus. We need to drink the Spirit by prayerfully reading the word of God and by calling on the name of the Lord, so that we may be constituted with the Lord’s humanity and live it out in the church life.
- Have we experienced the Lord’s carving for us to have Christ’s glorious expression in victory? The wood panels in the temple are carved with cherubim and palm trees, signifying that we need to not remain “smooth wood” but be under the Lord’s carving to have the glorious image of Christ and His victorious expression. When the Lord’s light shines on us in this matter, we will be exposed in His light, for we may still be “smooth wood”, with no expression of Christ. We will repent and let the Lord work in us and on us for His glorious expression to be manifested through us.
- Are we built into the Body, and are we functioning in our measure for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ? Each item in the temple is cut to measure and fit together, and each function according to its measure. The God of measure has appointed to each member a certain measure in which he can function, and we need to be built together with the fellow members of the Body, and function in the measure that God has apportioned to us. Many times the Lord shines on us that we either do not function at all, or we over function, going beyond our measure, and thus taking others portion.
We need the Lord’s light to shine on us and expose our need to be measured by the building of God. Because we are now in the age of the church, the house of God, our being, living, and work needs to be measured according to God’s house, for if they don’t fit into the house, it will amount to nothing in God’s eyes. Oh Lord Jesus!
The Law of the House of God: the Church is in Ascension and the Church is Most Holy
In Ezekiel 43:12 the Lord speaks of the law of the house of God, which is that the entire area on top and all around the mountain shall be most holy – this is the law of the house. The house of God has a law, and we need to keep the law of the house.
Every house you go in has some rules, and the house of God also has a law. This law expresses God’s character, for our God is a God of height (He’s a God in resurrection and ascension) and a God who is holy.
For the temple to be on the mountain means that the church is in resurrection and in the position of ascension; this indicates that the church must be high, on top of the mountain.
God has raised us up together with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus; our position as members of the Body is to be one with the Head, in resurrection and ascension.
It is a shame to us and to the Lord if we bring natural and worldly things in the house of God. God doesn’t accept any worldly means and ways of gaining people, for these bring in mixture; our God is in resurrection and ascension, and in position the church is also high, in ascension with Christ.
Therefore, we need to be one with the Lord in our daily living and keep the position of resurrection and ascension.
The fact that the temple and all around it is most holy shows that the church must also be holy, separated and sanctified from anything worldly (1 Cor. 3:17). God’s building, His church, is holy, and so are we.
Everything that we do in God’s building should be according to God’s holy nature; we need to walk according to the divine nature so that we may match the holy building of God. The church must be holy, separated, and sanctified from anything worldly; at the same time, the church needs to be saturated with God’s holy element to become holy in its nature.
The law of the house of God, the law of the temple, is related to God’s character; our God is a God of height and He is a holy God, and therefore He wants His dwelling place to be high and holy.
For us to match the law of the house of God, everything in the church life must be both in resurrection and ascension, and holy. In position the church is high, in resurrection and ascension; in nature the church is holy, having God’s holy nature and being separated from the world.
We shouldn’t lower or dilute the church, and we shouldn’t make the church common; we should not lower the church for people to “understand” and “agree”, so that they may “join the church”.
We must always respect the height of the church and regard the holiness of the church, knowing that the position of the church is in resurrection and ascension, and the nature of the church is holy.
It is an insult to the Lord to bring in our religious background and standard to live in the local churches or measure the church. Any religious standard we have from our background is an insult to God’s building, for it is altogether religious, legal, and human, non-Christ.
What we have in God’s building is something holy, sanctified, resurrected, and ascended. If in our church life we are in resurrection and in the position of ascension, and if we are most holy, then we can be God’s habitation.
Lord Jesus, we want to know and keep the law of the house of God so that we may match Your building. Show us, Lord, that Your house is high on the mountain, in resurrection and ascension, and that Your church is holy, separated from the world and saturated with God’s element. May we never lower the church to make it common. May we have a living that matches the church, a living in resurrection and ascension, and a living that is sanctified, separated from the world, and saturated with God’s element.
Today God’s Concern is for His House, so We need to be Fashioned According to it
Most believers today feel that moral regulations and spiritual principles are sufficient as rules of behavior and conduct, but very few realize that we need to be fashioned according to God’s house, the church.
We do not set the moral regulations or the spiritual principles aside – we would never do that, for we need them as a standard for our living. We daily need to have a time with the Lord, have set times of prayer, preach the gospel, and fellowship with the saints, and we also need to live a life that is moral and ethical according to the word of God.
However, we need to realize that our conduct and behavior should be examined not only according to moral regulations and spiritual principles but also according to the church, the house of God (see 1 Cor. 14:4-5, 12, 26; Rom. 14:19; 15:2).
What is in God’s heart today is His house, the church; the Lord’s concern is not the law but the house of God (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:12, 16).
The Lord wants to gain a place where He can rule and reign, a place where He can move freely, and a place where He can dwell for rest and satisfaction (Ezek. 43:7).
Therefore, we need to be fashioned not according to this age but according to the church, the house of God. We should behave ourselves not according to certain teachings but according to the church; the regulation for our living should be the church, and the law of the house of God should be what governs our living.
God cares for the church, the place of His throne, the place of the soles of His feet, the place where He can dwell for rest and satisfaction. The greatest test of our spirituality is not how much we know about the Lord in the Bible but the church life, the Body life.
If we cannot pass the test of the church life, our spirituality is not genuine. The requirement of the indwelling Christ in this age is not according to the law but according to the house of God; we all must be measured and checked according to the measurement of God’s house.
In the age of the church our seeking shouldn’t be merely to be good and moral Christians or spiritual Christians, but church people, people who fashion themselves according to the church, the house of God.
If what we are and do cannot fit into the church life, it amounts to nothing in God’s sight. Oh Lord Jesus! Because the Lord cares so much for the church, His house, we also should care for the church as His house, and we should fashion ourselves according to it (Eph. 2:21-22).
It is good to tell the Lord in all honesty,
Lord Jesus, we may not understand much about what it means to be measured according to Your house, but we agree with it in spirit, and we want to take this way. Lord, it is Your heart’s desire to gain the church as Your house, Your building in this age; we say Amen to You! We want our being, living, and work to fit into Your building. We want to be buildable and keep the law of the house of God. Lord, may our being, living, and service contribute to Your building!
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:
# New man of new creation, / Born through her risen Lord, / Baptized in God the Spirit, / Made holy by His Word; / Christ is her life and content, / Himself her glorious Head; / She has ascended with Him / O’er all her foes to tread. (Hymns #824)
# And the best of all, overruling all, / O’er all to the church Christ is Head. / Pow’r so glorious over all’s to us; / To the highest place the church is led. / Power, power overruling power, / Ruling over all, without, within! / Power, power, overruling power, / Ruling, reigning, through the inner man! (Hymns #1176)
# God’s heart longs, desires that we, / His lovers, seek Him corp’rately. / On each other spent constantly; / My life is for you, yours for me. (Song on the church life)
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