HWMR – Vital Factors for the Recovery of the Church Life (Week 2)
The Factor of Closely Following the Completed Vision of the Age through the Ministry of the Age
Key Point – The vision that the Lord has given to us in His present recovery is the all-inclusive vision of God’s eternal economy with its ultimate consummation—the vision of the New Jerusalem
Rev. 22:1 And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.
The sixty-six books of the Bible consummate in the New Jerusalem. The totality of all the positive things recorded in the sixty-six books of the Bible is the New Jerusalem. On the one hand, we may say that the Bible unveils to us the central line of the divine revelation, which is God’s economy and God’s dispensing. On the other hand, we may say in brief that the totality of what the Bible reveals to us is the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the total composition of the entire revelation of the Bible. (Life-study of Isaiah, p. 348)
Do not think that the New Jerusalem is merely something objective in the future for a certain group of people. We have to realize that what is recorded in Revelation 21 and 22 should be experienced by us today in a very personal way. Experientially speaking, every proper and normal Christian is “a little New Jerusalem.” Whatever is ascribed to the New Jerusalem corporately should be experienced by us individually and personally. With and in each one of us are the three gates of the Divine Trinity. Furthermore, in each one of us there must be the throne of God and of the Lamb. We must enthrone Him in our heart and in our spirit. In other words, in the very center of our being there should be the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In our Christian experience the unique item should be the throne of the One who purposed and of the One who redeemed. Such a throne must be set up in our entire being, and this should be the center of our Christian life. This means that we would accept the God who purposed and the Christ who redeemed us as our Head, Lord, and authority. We should be willing to subject ourselves to such a headship. We adore Him as the Lord, and we take Him as our authority. We enthrone Him in our being and in our Christian life.
We are not here living for ourselves. We are living and existing for the accomplishment of God’s purpose, to carry out what Christ has accomplished. Therefore, we experience the One on the throne in His headship and lordship, and we submit ourselves to such an authority. In our daily life, in our family life, in our marriage life, in our business life, and in our church life the center must be God’s throne. Everything should be subjected to His headship.
Whenever we would subject ourselves to this headship, we immediately sense something full of God’s riches flowing within us. This is the flow of the Triune God as life, the life supply, and everything to our being. Within us we sense such a flow, and this flow is from the throne of God and of the Lamb as the water of life. (CWWL, 1984, vol. 3, “God’s New Testament Economy,” pp. 459-460)
Life-study of Colossians (Message 19)
The Experience of Christ as the Mystery of God
Col. 2:2 That their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love and unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the full knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
Col. 2:6-7 As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, Having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
In 2:6 Paul says that the Colossians “have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” Christ is the portion of the saints (1:12) for our enjoyment. To believe in Him is to receive Him. As the all-inclusive Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17), He enters into us and dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22) to be everything to us.
Once we have received Christ Jesus, we need not receive Him again. But we must apply what we have received. However, only a very small percentage of those who have received Christ apply Him. We all must practice to apply the living Christ in a practical way day by day. To employ a common term, we need to use Christ. For more than fifty years, I have been learning how to use Christ. I can testify that this is difficult because by birth it is not natural for us to use Christ, nor does our training condition us to use Him. Recently, most of my confession to the Lord has been related to my failure to apply Him. The hardest lesson for us to learn as Christians is to apply Christ and to use Him. We have heard a number of messages on living Christ, growing Christ, and producing Christ. Nevertheless, in our daily living we spontaneously use the self instead of Christ. There is no need for us to try to use the self; we use it automatically and spontaneously.
In the Gospels the Lord charges us to “watch and pray.” I have spent a number of years considering this word. At first I thought that this command was not necessary. But eventually I learned that I certainly need to watch and pray, especially in the matter of applying Christ. As we are waking up in the morning, we need to be watchful not to do anything without applying Christ. Often as we wake up early in the morning, it seems that demons are swarming around the headboard of the bed. Although we are protected by the Lord and covered with His prevailing blood, we still need to be watchful and resist the evil thoughts injected into us by the enemy. Do not think about anything without applying Christ. We certainly need to be on the alert; that is, we need to be watchful and to pray. But very few Christians watch and pray in order to apply Christ.
Although we have all received the Lord Jesus, we are very short in using Him, in applying Him. If we fail to apply Him, then in a practical way in our daily living there is little significance to having received Him. Our experience of Christ should not be so superficial, and we should not take so many things for granted. We are thankful for God’s salvation in Christ, and we are grateful that we have received Him. But now we must go on to apply the very One we have received.
Life-study of Colossians (Message 20)
To Walk in Christ, the Mystery of God
Josh. 5:11-12 And on the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased on that day, when they ate of the produce of the land; and there was no longer manna for the children of Israel, but they ate of the yield of the land of Canaan that year.
Col. 2:7 Having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
On the one hand, the good land is revealed in the Old Testament. On the other hand, it is concealed there. Although this statement appears contradictory, actually it is not. Because Deuteronomy describes the good land, we may say that the good land is revealed in the Old Testament. But because the meaning and significance of the good land are concealed, we may also say that the land is concealed in the Scriptures. As the Lord’s children, supplied by His mercy and grace, delved into the Word, they began to realize that the good land promised by God to His chosen people is a type of Christ. If the Passover enjoyed in Egypt and the manna experienced in the wilderness were types of Christ, then the good land must also be a type of Christ.
In Joshua 5:11 and 12 we see a hint that the good land typifies Christ as the continuation of the manna. Verse 11 says that the children of Israel ate of the produce of the land. Verse 12 is especially clear: “And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the produce of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year” (Heb.). Manna was a type of Christ as the life supply for God’s people. As these verses in Joshua point out, the produce of the good land is the continuation of the manna. Therefore, if the manna typified Christ, the produce of the good land must also typify Him. By means of the supply of manna in the wilderness, God’s people were able to build the tabernacle as God’s dwelling place. In the same principle, through the supply of the rich produce of the land they were able to build the temple as a more solid dwelling place for God. No doubt, the good land enjoyed by the children of Israel is a significant type of Christ, for through the enjoyment of it the temple was built. We may even say that it is the ultimate type of Christ found in the Scriptures. It is a complete and all-inclusive type of Christ.
We need to be deeply impressed that this good land typifies the all-inclusive Christ. We have pointed out that in Colossians 2:7 Paul says that we have been rooted in Christ. If we have been rooted in Christ, then He must be our soil, our earth. Have you ever realized that Christ is the very land in which you are rooted, that you are a plant rooted in Christ as the soil? I deeply feel that most of the Lord’s children are still in Egypt. They have experienced the Lord only as the Passover lamb. Others have come out of Egypt and enjoy Christ as their daily manna as they wander in the wilderness. But very few believers experience Christ as the realm, the sphere, in which they walk. May the Lord open our eyes to see that Christ is our good land and that we must daily walk in Him!