Building the building
7.Building the building
The first foundation that God laid between man and himself was based upon trust (as the substance), man’s ability to trust God and therefor walk in obedience. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but man proved his own inability to bring in the fulfilment God’s intended plan for man i.e. to take dominion. Although being created just a little lower than God, man submitted to satan and disobeyed God with the very first test of obedience. Through the generations God have shown to us our error in not trusting Him but always relying upon/submitting to something or someone else.
Jer 17:5-8 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
In Ephesians 2:10 we however read that in Christ Jesus we have been recreated so that we can bring in fulfilment the plan that God had for us from the beginning. Exodus 25:8 and let them make Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.
Being regenerated means that we have acknowledged our own inability as we surrendered our lives, receiving the regenerated life in Jesus Christ trusting in Him and His ability not in ourselves and our own inability. When the disciples asked Jesus:
“What is the work that we should do if we want to do the work of God?”John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.
Faith in Jesus is the required work that we have been called for, there is however a lot of other work we can do, but none as pleasing as the work of faith. That is the first work we have been called for – prayer in faith (building a sanctuary)
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
As Jesus came to recreate us so that we can do the good works that Elohim predestined for us to do, the building process, is the process of sanctification being set-apart, whereby the soul of man becomes subjected to the Spirit of Elohim, being set free from the desires and lust of this world through the truth of the Word of Elohim.
The building part of the house consists of 30%, being that after the building part is finished the house is 60% finished. When we look at the building process, it is the only process where man is involved. The bedrock is a revelation that we receive from Elohim, the foundation is given to us as a gift that we receive through faith in Christ Jesus, the roof is our inheritance that what we will receive. Looking at the building process we must build, it is our responsibility 1 Corinthians 3:10 “… But each should look how he builds on it” being the foundation that already have been laid.
Like the bedrock and the foundation, the building part is as important, but being of special importance to us as the builders, for it by these works that we will be rewarded.
1Co 3:12-15 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw– each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (English Standard Version)and Matthew 16:27 “for the Son of Adam is going to come in the esteem of His Father with His messengers, and then He shall reward each according to his works.”
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 that when we build we must be careful how we build with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, but that the fire shall prove of what sort the work is.
Accordance to Matthew 6:2,5,6 we know that the sort of work that is required by God is not in accordance to the worldly standard to impress, but is based on our motive and faithfulness in service to Elohim and His Son Jesus Christ. Looking at what Paul said – wood, hay and straw will in the natural be consumed by fire, whereas for gold and silver, it is not consumed but refined by fire nor are precious stones consumed by fire , but are formed by fire and pressure.
So we conclude that the only type of work that will remain is the work built by gold, silver and precious stones. Although the fire do not consume the mentioned it is refined and/or formed by fire. We know by the Word of Elohim that these works is not measured by the standard of the world, but by the motive and faithfulness, as the works of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was tried, He chose to say “not My will but Your will”.
7.1 Precious stones
In the Old Testament precious stones represent the answers from God, and in the New Testament it represents the wall of the new Jerusalem and entrance into the new Jerusalem. In the natural precious stones, of which diamonds are the most precious, is formed through heat and pressure. As in the above mentioned, the building with precious stones relates to our relationship with Jesus Christ and our Father through prayer and in waiting on the Lord, to speak into our hearts as we meditate upon His Word and walk in obedience to His Word. (Jesus said if you love Me you will obey Me). The precious stone as the doorway to the new Jerusalem reminds us of the Word that said it is thru trails and tribulation that we enter into the Kingdom (Acts 14v22).
In concluding we acknowledge that the building with precious stones has to do with relationship, relationship first with the Father and Jesus Christ and relationship with our brothers and sisters.
Building with precious stones : If we endeavor to build with precious stones we must first be reminded of one of the characteristics of precious stone, in their nature they are transparent, so we must be in order to build. In waiting on the Lord and in trails and tribulation, we need to be transparent so that, that what is within will be revealed, we must become less so that Jesus can become more.
In looking at the tabernacle of Moses, silver is used as the based upon which the wooden frame of the tabernacle rest, the wood representing the human nature, we must acknowledge that the silver is the foundation on which we stand. The Word said in Proverbs 10:20 that the tong of the righteous is like pure silver. And then there is the story of a silversmith, that he refines the silver over a fire, and as soon as he can see his own reflection the silver is refined. In concluding we can see that silver as our foundation has much to do with the likeness of Christ Jesus, even our words should reflect His words in nature and likeness.
Building with Silver : As mentioned, the characteristic of silver is that it reflects the image of the one that look into it, so must our work, reflect the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. In receiving Jesus Christ as our Saviour it is required of us not only to be clothed in His righteousness but also to act accordingly. Building with silver is keeping your eyes on our Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness, until His life manifest in your own life in thought and action. Christ likeness, meaning to react as our Lord reacted and taught.
Once again, gold in the tabernacle of Moses were found on the inside of the Holies and the Holy of Holies, it over lade the wood (human nature) indicating that our human nature in the natural cannot come into the presence of the living God. Gold is an offering unto the Lord, our bodies becoming a living sacrifice of righteousness and holiness as we lay down our own will allowing the will of God to be effective in our daily life as we walk in obedience to God and His everlasting Word.
Building with Gold : Apart from being precious and valuable, the characteristic of gold is that it is soft yet heavy, like the Word of God. We build with gold by focussing on God and His Kingdom, and we do it by :
- Eating the Word of God, (reading and doing the Word, taking the Word at heart as we meditate on it.)
- Seeking the Lord for in Him is wisdom, and doing accordingly in obedience.
- Seeking knowledge from Elohim and living the recreated life in Christ Jesus rather than a life according to the flesh.
- Allowing the truth to set you free, so that the fruit of Elohim can manifest in your life, and that your words testify to it.
- Walking in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, in relation to people around you.
- Offering unto the Lord our bodies as an offer of righteousness, using every opportunity to live a life holy unto Him.
- Allowing the will of Elohim to be effective in your life as you walk in obedience to Him and His Words.
- Gold representing :
- God’s Word (Ps 19:10, 119:127)
- Wisdom (Pr 3:13-14)
- Knowledge (Pr 8:10)
- Truth (Pr 8:19)
- Good name and living favor (Pr 22:1)
- Trails (Zech 13:9; Mal 3:3; 1 Pet 1:7; Rev 3:18)
- Words (1 Cor 3:12)
7.4 The tabernacle of Moses as a pattern to God’s House
Seeing that we are directly involved with the building process, let us look at a more practical dwelling place for God in the Bible – the tabernacle.
Exodus 25:9 Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.
The tabernacle : The outer court represents the foundation
The building process representing the holies
The roof represents the holy of holies.
As we are busy with the building process/the holies, let us look to see if we can find the precious stone, the silver and the gold within the tabernacle and what they represented.
Within the holy place we found the following items, the show bread, the menorah and the incense altar. Each representing a specific action allowing us to build.
The Show bread – building with Precious Stones
The show bread means the bread of His Presence, Jesus referred to Himself when He said “I am the Bread of Life” John 6:48. To enter into the Holy place we must first acknowledge that it is not about us, but it is about God. The showbread and the showbread table relates to our Lord Jesus Christ and His ruler ship/government over the body of Christ. When we enter, we enter in laying down our own lives before the Lord, acknowledging our own inability. At the same time we present ourselves before the Lord to fill us with the living bread. If we are not prepared to surrender ourselves before the Lord we cannot receive from Him, we must be transparent before the Lord. If we only seek to satisfy ourselves then we cannot receive power from above, because the very power is so that we can die to ourselves. (The word witness = testify to our faith in Jesus Christ even to the extent of death if needed) The showbread is indeed to testify that Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God is the bread of life that gave His own life so that he who partake in the bread of life will never die. This act of testifying even to the extent of facing death directly relate to the building with precious stones, trails and tribulation.
The Menorah – building with Silver
The next item within the Holy place is the candle; the candle was the only source of light, allowing the priest to see as they fulfil their duties. The candle being the second item and representing the Spirit of the Living God. The priest would go to the candle after they attended the showbread, likewise we can only receive the Holy Spirit once we testified that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. The Holy Spirit came to give us power to be a witness for our Lord Jesus Christ, in likeness not equality. Building with silver is conformity to Christ, who said “not my will be done”. It is allowing yourself to be washed by the truth (Words of life) and being transformed by the truth – sanctified and set-apart for the Lord and His Kingdom.
The incense altar – building with Gold
The third item in the Holy place is the golden incense altar where a special mixture of pure incense were burnt in the morning and evening. The golden incense altar represent the prayer of the saint, these prayers are the prayers of righteousness, not according to the will of man but in accordance to the will of God – becoming the instrument of prayer in the hands of God, in the likeness of Elijah who prayed for rain because God told him to do so. As we focus on God and His kingdom in morning and evening prayer we build with gold. The symbolism behind this act can be discerned from a passage in the book of Revelation where we read that in the heavenly temple an angel “came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand” (Revelations 8:3-4). This connection between the incense smoke and rising prayers is also seen in the petition: “Lord . . . give ear unto my voice . . . Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense [and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.]” (Psalm 141:1-2). Hence the altar of incense, which stood before the veil, was an altar of prayer.
7.5 The Purpose of building
The building purpose is simple, yet complex.
2 Cor.3v18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Eph.5v26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the Word.
What is the purpose of the building process, it is to become mature sons and daughters of God, who in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ will be zealous for our Father’s House. But what is the meaning of maturity, and what does it represent. The scripture clearly guides us:
- Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 1 Cor. 14:20
- So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ Eph 4:14-15
- For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, since he is a child. Heb 5:12-13 (Maturity is being skilled in the Word of Righteousness)
- Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ4:13
- James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: “Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. …James 1:1-27.
- But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22-25 But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror. For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like. But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.
Maturity is thus to be transformed through the recreation and regeneration by our Lord Jesus Christ until it is no longer us who lives but Christ living within us. More of Him and less of us. When we want to grow in maturity we do not grow of ourselves, but we grow through what God is doing in us.