As a Christian

We are to be conformed to Him in purpose, thought and action.
In other words have the same goals, believe as He believed, respond the way He would respond and stand for what He stands for.

We are to also mature in him. This not only involves knowing the word but also in knowing and hearing and being guided by the Holy Spirit. It is He that works within us to bring us to maturity. He is Himself God and our teacher, comforter, friend and guide. There is no replacement for Him.

Heb 5:11 Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight].
Heb 5:12 For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God's Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
Heb 5:13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

A Gathering of Princes
A Call to Awaken

Psa 47:9 The princes and nobles of the peoples are gathered together, a [united] people for the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.

The full significance of this verse becomes apparent in the study of the Jewish Feast of Trumpets including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the high holy days. It is a word that would only be given if we were in the last days and time was short. We stand at a point in history where many are anticipating, at almost any time, the announcement to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

It is clear from the scripture that the feast, ceremonies, and rituals which are considered only symbols in and of themselves, are shadows of (point to) things which are to come.

Col 2:15 [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.

The Feasts of Trumpets covers forty days from the last month of the Jewish year (sometime in the area of September and October of our year) to the first ten days of the New Year. This corresponds to the forty years of the generation that sees the events of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The first thirty days are a time for the people to repent and turn back to the Lord. These thirty days lead to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah (Day of Judgment) and eight days later Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). The days in between relate to the seven year period that is known to us as the tribulation or Jacob’s trouble. The blowing of the shofar at the beginning of this feast is said to represent an awakening blast. Today the shofar would be representative of the prophets and the watchmen who are responsible to sound the alarm.

The blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) carries with it many themes. Among others it is a call to awake, a call to repentance, a call to turn, a call to remember and a call to rejoice for those in the lambs book of life. It is also a warning to fear because of the coming Day of Judgment.

The Feasts of Trumpets also carries, from a prophetic standpoint, other themes. Among them are the coronation and wedding of the Messiah, the Oseif (gathering of the Nobles), The Day of Judgment and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom to name a few.

The blowing of the trumpet for this festival is, “so to speak, the hosts of God assembled, waiting for their leader, the people of God united to proclaim their King“. (The Temple, Its Ministries and Services), Alfred Edersheim.

This is a time of remembrance. We are to go before Him and present ourselves and our families to Him acknowledging Him as God and King and placing ourselves under His banner. It is a time of repentance (cleansing) and turning to Him.

We should not be surprised that one implication in the scripture is unity.

The above actions will lead to the people gathering at the door of the heavenly temple in anticipation of His return when His Elect will be called to meet Him and the dead in Christ will also arise. It is in the heavenly realm where we will be witnesses to His coronation.

The vision involves the Oseif or the gathering of nobles. We find this symbolism in 2 Chronicles in the coronation of Joash.

2Ch 22:12 And Joash was with them hidden in the house of God six years, and Athaliah reigned over the land.

2Ch 23:1 IN THE seventh year Jehoiada [the priest] took strength and courage and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri.

2Ch 23:11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony or law and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, Long live the king!

2Ch 23:19 Jehoiada set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who was in any way unclean.

2Ch 23:20 And he took the captains of hundreds and the nobles and governors of the people and all the people of the land and brought down the king from the house of the Lord; and they came through the Upper Gate to the king’s house and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.

Joash represents Christ, in that he was hidden six years and was revealed and crowned in the seventh year. Bringing Him out from God’s house represents Him coming from heaven.

The History of Joash, King of Judah, has significance not only prophetically but for each of us personally. We must ask, who is it that we have enthroned in our hearts as King?

It cannot be stressed strongly enough that now is the time to awaken and to turn to Christ in repentance for time is short. The day of Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Day of Judgment, approaches rapidly.

Rom 13:11 Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah).
Rom 13:12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light.
Rom 13:13 Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy.
Rom 13:14 But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).

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The early Christian church was only identified by its geographical location. The apostles never viewed it as a divided but viewed it based on its level of maturity.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul again emphasized the need to focus on Jesus. Those who have reached maturity in the Lord are to have the mind of Christ and the convictions he (Paul) has outlined. If we are conformed to Christ in purpose, thought and action then we will be approaching full maturity and unity in Christ. As stated in Philippians 3:15, if we have a different mind then we are to place it before God and patiently wait for him to make it clear.

Php 3:15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

As expressed in Ephesians as well as many other places in the Bible, we are called to a mature walk with the Lord. There is only one way to achieve this and that is through the Word, prayer and The Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit, who will use the Word and life’s experiences to teach us.

1Jn_2:5 But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him:

Rom_8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Proverbs 1:20-33New Life Version (NLV) Judgment is coming...
 
20 Wisdom calls out in the street. She lifts her voice in the center of town. 21 There she cries out in the noisy streets. At the open gates of the city she speaks: 22 “O foolish ones, how long will you love being foolish? How long will those who laugh at others be happy in their laughing? How long will fools hate much learning? 23 Listen to my strong words! See, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you. 24 I called but you would not listen. I put out my hand and no one gave it a thought. 25 You did not listen when I told you what you should do, and you would not hear any of my strong words. 26 So I will laugh at your trouble. I will laugh when you are afraid. 27 Fear will come to you like a storm. Hard times will come like a strong wind. When trouble and suffering come upon you, 28 then they will call on me, but I will not answer. They will look for me, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated much learning, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. 30 They would not listen when I told them what they should do. They laughed at all my strong words. 31 So they will eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own plans. 32 For the foolish will be killed by their turning away. The trust that fools put in themselves will destroy them. 33 But he who listens to me will live free from danger, and he will rest easy from the fear of what is sinful.”

Bricks or Stones - complete teaching

Since Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground, men have tried to bypass God’s requirements and standards choosing their own way to approach Him, trying to force Him to accept their beliefs, and incorporating Him into their worship. There are only two choices: 1) to either be conformed to Christ in thought, deed and action, or 2) to try to conform Jesus to our own thoughts, ways and traditions. To choose the first is to be pleasing and acceptable to God. To choose the second is to be in rebellion and be rejected. To walk with God is to put on the robes of His Righteousness; to walk in the second way is to walk in self righteousness and rebellion. Even though men may put on the garments of religion and walk and talk as God’s anointed, and yet follow their own path, in effect they are committing Idolatry (rebellion).

Isa 65:2 I have spread out My hands all the day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts–
Isa 65:3 A people who provoke Me to My face continually, sacrificing [to idols] in gardens and burning incense upon bricks [instead of at God’s prescribed altar];

God’s plan has always required the use of stones (his people) and mortar (The Holy Spirit) for the building of the His Temple (His Church).
As His creation we are created as stones. Our makeup is what pleased Him. When we accept Him as Savior, He begins the work of fitting us into His Body. While He may cut away some of life’s barnacles that are attached, we remain as He created us. When we begin to be conformed to someone’s ideology or traditions then we become as bricks; everyone being forced to the same image and shape.

As Paul warned there are wolves, which come into the church, setting themselves above the Body for profit and for name.

Isaiah brought home the consequences of rebellion and individuals trying to make a name for themselves.

Isa 14:12 How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]
Isa 14:13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

Whenever, we try to make a name for ourselves, we are falling into the same error and deifying self.

All believers are required to come to God using His prescribed Altar, Jesus Christ, and to be conformed to Him in his righteousness.

“1. They forsook God’s temple, and sacrificed in gardens or groves, that they might have the satisfaction of doing it in their own way, for they liked not God’s institutions. 2. They forsook God’s altar, and burnt incense upon bricks, altars of their own contriving (they burnt incense according to their own inventions, which were of no more value, in comparison with God’s institution, than an altar of bricks in comparison with the golden altar which God appointed them to burn incense on), or upon tiles (so some read it), such as they covered their flat-roofed houses with, and on them sometimes they burnt incense to their idols, as appears, 2Ki_23:12, where we read of altars on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, and Jer_19:13, of their burning incense to the host of heaven upon the roofs of their houses.” Henry Commentary

We are to remember this was not the world doing this; it was God’s people and in many cases those called to lead.

The decision must be made by all, are we to worship God on Bricks or Stones. To worship him on stones requires dying to self and conforming to Him.

The scripture is very plain, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Only as each one of us read and study the scriptures for ourselves and learn the leading of the Holy Spirit, will we know if we are being misled.

It is said that during the Civil War in this country that Abraham Lincoln made the following observation which I paraphrase. “Both sides pray to the same God and ask the same God for help in defeating their enemy. However, I think God may have his own agenda.” He was entirely correct. No matter how hard we try, God cannot be bent to our ideologies, doctrines or beliefs. We must conform to Him. It is this effort to conform him to our beliefs that have lead to the divisions, incorrect teachings and error that is in the church today.

Our country and the institutional church is divided, then and today. It is only the true Church, led by the Holy Spirit that can alter the Path we are on. This can only be done if we allow ourselves to be changed through the word and hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit. It is only as we pursue Christ that these divisions will be eliminated.

1Co 1:11 For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you.
1Co 1:12 What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ.
1Co 1:13 Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

It could also be said, I am Methodist, I am Catholic, I am Baptist, etc. One could also say, I believe this doctrine or I don’t believe that doctrine, when the scripture is very plain on the subject. This happens when we try to conform God to our belief system.

To try and put God in a box or limit what He wants to do only hinders the individual, since God cannot be constrained either way. The Church is not called to be so divided. It is Christ who died for us and it is Christ who is the head and into whom we are to be joined. The Church is called to be in unity and peace.

We will see the fulfillment of a unified Body. Whether we are a part of that will indeed depend on the choices that are made, and we will always need to choose whether we will follow God’s plan at his prescribed altar (as Lively Stones), or to not follow God’s prescribed plan and follow our own thoughts (sacrificing on bricks).

If we are leaders, our decision is, do we continue to make those we are responsible for, in our image or in the denominations image. Or do we allow the Holy Spirit to have His way and build them in the image of Christ.

The Lord speaking through the prophets addressed a house for Himself:
Isa_66:1 THUS SAYS the Lord: Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house would you build for Me? And what kind can be My resting-place? [Acts 17:24.]

Hag_1:9 You looked for much [harvest], and behold, it came to little; and even when you brought that home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of My house, which lies waste while you yourselves run each man to his own house [eager to build and adorn it].

Hag_1:2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say, The time is not yet come that the Lord’s house should be rebuilt [although Cyrus had ordered it done eighteen years before]. [Ezra 1:1-6; 4:1-6, 24; 5:1-3.]

While the house that the Prophet is speaking of is the Jewish Temple, it is a foreshadowing of the spiritual church today. The Temple today is not a church building, ministry, organization or denomination. It is a house for our Lord’s habitation, made up of lively stones. The Body of Christ is not static; it is ever growing and more and more taking on His image. Now are we called to build His house and to be joined to Him
.
Eph 2:19 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
Eph 2:20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
Eph 2:21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
Eph 2:22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

Now is our time to awaken and to arise to the calling of the Lord.

Isa 60:1 ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you–rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! [Zech. 8:23.]
Isa 60:2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and dense darkness [all] peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon you [O Jerusalem], and His glory shall be seen on you. [Isa. 60:19-22; Mal. 4:2; Rev. 21:2, 3.]

Re-engineering the Church - Excerpt

A paradigm is a way of thinking, a model of our knowledge and belief system that we as an organization or as an individual put together, or learn over time, to help us understand and cope with the world around us. It is this belief system, based on our current understanding, that determines our view of the world and our reaction to it. Our maturing, as an individual and as a Christian, is an example of a natural, gradual paradigm change. (That from child to adult)

As Christians, our paradigm can be extremely beneficial. However, it can also be extremely limiting and can deprive us from the flexibility required to move as the Holy Spirit leads.

We easily relate to the concept of sin that readily clings to us; however we seem to miss the "every encumbrance" (unnecessary weight) which comes in many forms, such as men’s traditions, men’s doctrines, rituals, ceremonies, and ideas of how things are to be done and in particular false ideas of what God can and can’t do today. It can also include the daily activities of life, which cannot necessarily be stripped away, but which we must find a way to rise above (to manage).

Whenever, we hold these paradigms to be "The Truth", then we set ourselves up to be isolated, or we can miss the fullness of God in our lives and what He is doing.

1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

www.bricksandstones.org
Re-engineering the Church

Maturing of the Believer - - - Outer Court

The Outer Court of the Temple is representative of that part of our walk that, as Christians, we begin when we accept the initial works of Jesus. Justification by His blood and cleansing by the water of the Word.
In the Outer Court were the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Laver of Water.

The Altar of Burnt Offering attests to the sacrifice of our Lord for us and it is our acceptance, through faith, of His sacrifice that we are saved by the shedding of His Blood.

Rev_5:9 And [now] they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll and to break the seals that are on it, for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. [Ps. 33:3.]

And it is by His Word (The Laver of Water) that we are cleansed.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
Eph 5:26 So that He might sanctify her (The Church), having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, Amplified Bible (Bold letters added for clarification)

Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

We begin our walk with Christ in the outer court. It is here that we go through the newborn, child and adolescent stages of our growth. It is here that we begin to learn of Jesus beyond our salvation and beyond mere knowledge, and it is here that we begin to learn who we are and what our position is in Him. In the outer court we begin to sit, stand and walk as described in Ephesians.

The outer court is characterized by immaturity. Like children, we are given over to selfish impulses and desires, and whether we like to acknowledge it or not, everything is generally about us. Even when we step out to obey God’s word in most cases it is still selfish because in our hearts we are thinking, if I do this God will bless me. During this stage our approach and reaction to other Christians and to the world can be competitive and inappropriate since we still respond in the flesh. Self reigns as king in our lives. The Spirit begins the work of removing self so that He can have absolute authority. It is a breaking and a crushing of the natural man that must take place. It is a process that we spend our entire lives going through. God has His own timing in the process and is in no hurry. The more we allow His image to be formed in us the more we become like Him.

During this phase in our lives, Jesus comes to us. We have a sense of His presence and He undertakes to encourage us in every aspect of our walk. While we learn to sit, stand and walk, He is protective of us. The call of the Spirit is strong to encourage us. We face many intense battles during this phase,  It is Satan’s best opportunity to cause us to stumble and pull away. However, God is faithful to strengthen us and to come to our aid.

The outer court is also characterized by many voices that are pulling us in many directions. The most important voice that we must learn is that of the Holy Spirit. It is His voice that will lead us to a deeper relationship in Jesus and place us “beside still waters”.

There are three areas in which we hear voices that try to draw us away from God. They are: The world I John 2:16, Satan Eph 6:12 and the flesh Rom 8:5, Gal 5:17 and Jas 1:14. It is the flesh that ultimately causes us the most problems.

These voices engage us in spiritual warfare that is designed to and will keep us from moving closer to God. If we are to mature as Christ wants us to, then we have to overcome this challenge that would prevent us from growing and moving to the Holy Place experience. In the outer court we are exposed to the works of the enemy and the confusion and fog of our warfare.

We also have many people telling us what to believe, what they think is right. With this the scriptures warn us that unscrupulous men will come in and seek to mislead us for their own profit.

Many of the erroneous teachings of the outer court are designed to manipulate God into giving us what we want without any real requirement for righteousness or change (dying to self) on our part.

Mat_7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.]

We have many teachers in this stage that are to help guide us. Unfortunately most Christians as well as most ministries never seem to leave the Outer Court. It is where Christians begin to go to church, fellowship or get involved in various ministries, but many never seem to enter into that deeper relationship with Christ. Without care, either consciously or unconsciously, believers can be refocused back into the outer court through church programs, ministries, etc.

Gal_3:3 Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?

Among many other lessons, it is in the outer court that we should learn about the Doctrine of Christ as described in Hebrews 6:1-3. You will discover quickly the disagreements over this doctrine. We also, during this time, begin to learn about thanksgiving, praise and the significance of both.

Psa_100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

There is much to be learned in the outer court and the work of the Spirit in us begins immediately. It is not the external changes that God wants. It is the internal changes. The changes that begin to conform us to His image.

As we approach young adult hood, our relationship begins to change. It becomes less about us and more about Him, although, we still wrestle strongly with the flesh. In the beginning, He comes to us. Eventually, as we mature, He expects us to follow Him.

Maturing of the Believer - - - Foundation

The Temple Mount had to be prepared with a solid foundation upon which the Temple could be built. As this temple was given a solid foundation, so the Church has also been given a solid and true foundation.

1Co_3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Eph_2:20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
Paul goes on to warn us, as the Church and individual believers, to be careful how and what we build on the foundation.
1Co 3:12 But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1Co 3:13 The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.
1Co 3:14 If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward.

Hebrews 5:11 – 6:3 leads us to basic foundation teachings of the Church identified by the writer as the “doctrine of Christ”. We are challenged by the writer of Hebrews to get past the elementary stages of Christ and to move on to spiritual maturity.

Heb 5:11 Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight].
Heb 5:12 For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
Heb 5:13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Heb 6:1 THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
Heb 6:2 With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]
Heb 6:3 If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching].

This leads the reader to question if this is milk what are the teachings that will lead us to maturity? We find this answer in Heb 5:13.
Interestingly enough it is the foundational doctrines established in Heb 6:1-3 over which the institutional church is most divided today, indicating that as a whole it is still immature.

Paul expressed God’s plan and desire for the Church in Ephesians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:12-16.

Eph 3:10 [The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.

Eph 4:12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),
Eph 4:13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. Amplified (My Bolding)

Eph 4:14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
Eph 4:15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Eph 4:16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

If the above is true, then how is it that we remain as children and yet call ourselves mature?

1Co 1:10 But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.
1Co 1:11 For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you.
1Co 1:12 What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ.
1Co 1:13 Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

1Co 3:3 For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?

Today we say, I belong to the Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Assembly of God, or other faction. In effect most of these factions came into existence and exist as a result of their disagreements over the doctrines found in Hebrews 6:1-3. We also may follow a particular man, such as the current discussion over Calvin, or teaching, but most of all we cling to doctrines of men, organizations, rituals, ceremonies, etc. In general it is the traditions of men that prevent us from becoming conformed to the image of Christ.

The early Christian church was only identified by its geographical location. The apostles never viewed it as a divided but viewed it based on its level of maturity.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul again emphasized the need to focus on Jesus. Those who have reached maturity in the Lord are to have the mind of Christ and the convictions he (Paul) has outlined. If we are conformed to Christ in purpose, thought and action then we will be approaching full maturity and unity in Christ. As stated in Philippians 3:15, if we have a different mind then we are to place it before God and patiently wait for him to make it clear.

Php 3:15 So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

As expressed in Ephesians as well as many other places in the Bible, we are called to a mature walk with the Lord. There is only one way to achieve this and that is through the Word, prayer and The Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit, who will use the Word and life’s experiences to teach us.

1Jn_2:5 But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him:

Rom_8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

The temple of the Old Testament, and at the time of Jesus, is understood to be symbolic of the work of Christ and for many different aspects of God’s plan for the Church and the individual believer. In this discussion, it will be used to represent both the growth and maturing of the believer and the Body of Christ. The main concern is that the artificial barriers established by this model, represented by the division between the components of the temple, not be perceived as real or fixed. In reality, Christians go through the same growth stages as any person, newborn, toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, and adult. At any time in their growth the individual believer may occupy all  or any combination of the  components of the temple. It is the process we are most interested in. The intent is that by using this model it will help establish a framework within which believers can begin to understand where they are in the process and what is required to complete their journey or even to the fact there is more to the journey. It will hopefully help the believer to push through the confusion of so many voices that exist today, and recognize the call of the Spirit. As we mature Ephesians 4: 14 teaches us that we will be able to identify those teachings and winds of doctrine that are intended to mislead.

Eph 4:14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

We will also, as we focus on Him, be able to lay aside all those things which encumber us and to walk in the freedom of Christ.

The Temple generally has four components: The Foundation (discussed here), The Outer Court (general term for several courts that actually existed), The Holy Place and The Holy of Holies. These shall be used as our model.

This process should be thought of not as a hierarchical process as climbing a ladder but as a horizontal process. It is as one running a race. We have a goal that we are striving for and we must keep our focus on the finish line. It is not a race competing with others. It is our race and we decide the ultimate outcome of it.
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