God’s building on the earth is the Church (the Ekklessia). This building is not an imposing physical structure or edifice, but an assembly or a company of people called out from the world to Christ.

The Lord Jesus is the one building His Church; He is the Chief or Master Builder. He clearly said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18 NKJV).

However, the Lord takes delight in working with and through mortal men, so the Lord employs some men to be co-builders with Him. This is why Paul said to the Corinthian Christians, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9 NKJV).

What a great privilege and huge responsibility to be chosen to build with and for God!

What is the ultimate divine purpose of God’s building on the earth?

To serve as God’s temple or dwelling place on earth!

Paul aptly reveals this truth.

Ephesians 2
 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (NKJV).

The believers, as God’s spiritual building on earth, are being built or joined together to be God’s holy temple on earth where God can dwell and walk freely, manifesting His glory and accomplishing His eternal purposes on earth (2 Cor. 6:16).

God’s delight has always been to dwell and walk among the people He created in His image. God said, “My delight was with the sons of men.” (Prov. 8:31 NKJV).

Though sin separated us from God, and made it impossible for us to either stand in God’s holy presence or fellowship with Him without any shame, guilt or condemnation, yet God would not give up on us.

All through the Old Testament, God was always calling for a physical tabernacle or temple to be built for Him so that He might still continue to dwell and walk among His people. However, in the New Testament, God’s delight is not to dwell in a physical tabernacle or temple, but to dwell in and among the believers.

Paul writes, “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16 NKJV).

The believers are the living stones which are being built up or joined together to grow up into a spiritual holy temple for God’s habitation on earth.

Paul states, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5 NKJV).

Co-builders with Christ primarily comprised the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

Ephesians 4
 11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
 13 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 fulness of Christ;
 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.
 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. (RSV).

It is indeed a great privilege and also a huge responsibility for anyone to be called and chosen to be a co-builder of God’s spiritual building (the Church) on earth.

Paul didn’t take this lightly, He testifies, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” (1 Cor. 3:10 NKJV).

Sadly, unlike Paul, many of the Lord’s co-builders today are taking this responsibility very lightly, not taking heed to build on the right foundation, with the right material, and according to God’s specification, design, patter, or model.

This is simply the reason why God is not seen dwelling and walking freely in His building, among His people, or manifesting His awesome presence and glory.

Regrettably, rather than the believers today, as living stones, being joined together to grow up into a holy spiritual house or temple for God to dwell in and manifest His glory, the believers are being divided and disjointed by doctrines and denominations.

Men who are chosen and gifted by the Lord to build His Church for Him are now building empires and monuments for themselves. It is sad but true that the Church today is divided according to the number of her denominational leaders or General Overseers.

Instead of the believers being joined together or being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:21-22), we are being torn apart by carnal Christian leaders who are only after their selfish interests, vain glories and material gains (1 Cor. 3:3-4).

The Lord is raising among His people today a new company of co-builders who will not build His Church according to the wisdom, pattern, principles or ways of this world. But who will tarry in God’s presence, like the faithful builders of the tabernacle or temple of old, until they see, know, and understand clearly God’s building plan, pattern and specification for the spiritual temple He desires to build on earth.

Beloved, are you one of God’s called and chosen new generation of builders in this generation?

The Lord is saying to you today, “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.” (Hag. 1:8 NKJV).

“And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” (Exo. 25:40 NKJV).

God always gives a detailed specification, pattern, or blueprint of His building to anyone He employs to build for Him. When God wanted an ark to be built on the earth, for the salvation of those who would believe and heed His warning before sending a great flood to destroy the earth and its inhabitants, He employed Noah and delivered to him a detailed description of the design of the ark (Gen. 6:14-16).

Likewise, when God wanted a tabernacle to be built in the wilderness so that He might dwell and walk among the children of Israel, He called Moses up to the mountain and showed Him a pattern of the tabernacle He wanted (Exo. 25:40).

Moreover, God delivered the detailed plans of the first temple to David (1 Chro. 28:12). While David was handing over the divine building plans of the temple to his Son, Solomon, who built the temple, he said, “All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” (1 Chro. 28:19 NKJV).

The Scripture clearly reports that God filled the tabernacle or temple of old with His awesome glory at its completion because the builders built according to the pattern or specification God gave them.

God always shows His approval of the buildings built according to His specification with such a glory that no man could stand.

1 Kings 8
 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,
 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
 12 Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
 13 I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.” (NKJV).

Exodus 40
 33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
 34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (NKJV).

God has not changed His way of dealing with His co-builders. He will not send any man to undertake any building project for Him without showing or giving him a clear pattern or specification of what He wants. And if the man builds according to God-given plan or pattern, then God will fill the building with His awesome glory and He will take over the building from men.

Today, God has a building project on earth. This building is not a physical temple or edifice, but a company of people redeemed by the blood of Jesus and called out of the world unto God. God’s present building on earth is the Church (the Ekklessia). The believers, as living stones, are being joined or “built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:21-22 NKJV).

What is God’s building plan, pattern or model for His Church?

Jesus Christ!

Unlike the men of old who built for God according to His specification, many of the men of God today chosen and gifted to build the Church have despised and discarded God’s specification, and are now building as it pleases or profits them.

Sadly, these carnal Christian leaders have misplaced their priority, investing and spending much of their time, strength, gifting and God-given resources on erecting and building impressive cathedrals and edifices at the expense of building God’s people.

Any wonder God’s awesome glory is evidently absent in these cathedrals and these men have become mere entertainers?

It is indeed very crucial for the upcoming Christian leaders or builders to seek to know God’s building plan, pattern or specification for the Church.

Let us consider this.

First, the only true and divine foundation for the Church is Jesus Christ.

The Scripture clearly states: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11 NKJV).

The foundation is very crucial to any building. It is the foundation that carries the weight of the building. If the foundation is therefore weak or faulty, the entire building is weak and liable to a sudden collapse.

Jesus Christ is the only suitable spiritual foundation that can carry and sustain the temple God will inhabit and fill with His awesome glory. God will not dwell in and among the people we build on mere human tradition, philosophy, or worldly wisdom.

Sadly, many believers today are being built on mere human custom, wisdom, philosophy, eloquence, gifting and words of men of God, and not on absolute faith in the person of Jesus Christ and on His doctrine or teaching which He taught and delivered to His early apostles to pass down to us.

Ephesians 2
 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (NKJV).

The Cornerstone is the first stone set in construction of a foundation, and all other stones are then set in reference to this stone. It is therefore the cornerstone that determines the position of the entire structure or building. Every believer, as a living stone, must be built, set or aligned in reference to Jesus Christ – the Chief cornerstone (Isa. 28:16).

Building upon the sure and solid spiritual foundation starts with genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. Salvation that is not entirely based upon faith in divine provision of grace for salvation, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, is not a sure and solid foundation for a Christian life that is pleasing to God.

Partial obedience to God’s Word is a weak and faulty foundation to build upon. Similarly, esteeming human tradition, philosophy, wisdom, experiences, visions, or words above Christ’ words or teaching is a false and faulty spiritual foundation to build upon.

Beloved, now is the time to re-examine your spiritual foundation. Is your salvation purely based on faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross? Is your faith absolutely based on God’s word?

If not, you are building or being built on a false foundation. However, it is not too late to start building on the true, sure and solid foundation –Jesus Christ. How?

Come to Jesus, hear His words and do them!

Jesus said, “Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” (Luke 6:47-48 RSV).

Second, according to God’s specification the Church must be built with pure, sound and wholesome words, doctrines or teachings.

While laying a strong foundation for a building is very crucial, it is also very important to build with good and right building materials. Although the foundation may be very strong, but if the building is built with fake, inferior or substandard materials; the building will not be strong or stand long before collapsing.

Therefore, God is not only concerned about building His Church on His recommended foundation (-absolute faith in Christ). But, God is also very much concerned about the sort of materials (the words, doctrines or teachings) men are using in building His Church.

What are God-recommended building materials for His Church?

The teachings of Christ!

The Apostles’ doctrines!

The only pure, sound and wholesome words, teachings or doctrines approved of God as the right building materials for building the Church as His spiritual house on earth are those which Jesus taught in person and through the Holy Spirit to the early apostles. This is why they are called “apostles’ doctrines” (Acts 2:42).

The teachings of Christ or apostles’ doctrines consist of Christ’s beliefs, views, perspectives, values, mindsets, principles, ways, or attitudes. The body of truths Christ delivered to His early apostles to use in building His Church is perfect and complete.

While our understanding of these truths or teachings may be progressive, the truths themselves are not progressive but constant; there is nothing to be added, removed, or modified from them. The Scripture testifies that it “was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3 NKJV).

The teachings of Christ on every subject or issue is divine, complete, perfect and superior to that of any of the prophets or saints of old. The words or teachings of Christ are also superior to any new vision, revelation, or prophecy that any servant of God may claim to have received today.

Any doctrine or teaching that does not conform completely to that of Christ and His early apostles is a fake, inferior or substandard building material for building the Church.

Paul warns against such false teachers or apostles.

1 Timothy 6
 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. (NKJV).

Regrettably, many people today who are privileged to be co-builders of the Church with Christ are building with fake materials – words, teachings or doctrines which are not from Christ.

Many are building God’s people today with enticing speeches or words of human wisdom, vain philosophies, empty deceits, traditions of men, regulations, and principles of this world (Col. 2:8). This is why today’s Church is largely spiritually immature, weak, unstable and carnal.

If God’s people are not being constantly fed with pure and wholesome words of life, the teachings of Christ; we should not expect them to grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Sadly, the Church today hardly resembles Christ because men have built her with materials that are not Christ-like in any respect!

Beloved, it is time to examine the building materials you have been using to build God’s people entrusted to your care. Are you using God’s recommended materials (teachings of Christ) or enticing words of men’s wisdom?

Paul warns, “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:12-13 NKJV).

Gold, silver and precious stones speak of wholesome doctrines. But, wood, hay and straw are false doctrines.

When you teach God’s people anything that is not totally in accordance with the teachings of Christ and His early apostles in the New Testament, you are certainly building with wood, hay and straw.

When you build with inferior materials, what you build will not stand the test of time or pressures of life, and eventually the building will crumble and fall apart. What a great loss and waste of time, energy and resources! Therefore,  “…let each one take heed how he builds on it.” (1 Cor. 3:12-13 NKJV).

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