IV. RESURRECTING FROM THE DEAD
In God’s eyes, when Christ was resurrected, not only He alone was resurrected, but all of us who have been chosen and counted by God to be in Christ were also resurrected together with Him. Just as in His death He brought all of us with Him to pass through death, so also in His resurrection from the dead He brought us out of death into resurrection. Therefore, Ephesians 2:6 says that God raised us up together with Christ and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies. First Peter 1:3 also tells us that God regenerated us through the resurrection of Christ. Never think that you were not regenerated until you believed in the Lord. This manner of accounting is wrong. You were regenerated on the same day as Peter and John, which was the day of the Lord’s resurrection. The day in which the Lord Jesus was resurrected was also the day in which you were regenerated. God is eternal; with Him there is no factor of time or space. In His eyes, all the saved ones were regenerated with Christ on the same day.
God chose us before the foundation of the world. At that time, not only were we not yet born, but even the angels, the heavens, and the earth were not yet created. In the eyes of God, however, we already existed at that time. Brothers and sisters, do you believe that you already existed before the foundation of the world? Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us and predestinated us. Predestination is a marking out. If we had not existed in eternity, how could God have chosen and predestinated us? We cannot comprehend this in our mind. However, to God, you and I existed long, long ago in this universe, and God chose and predestinated us at that time. One day, He came to die for us, and after everything was accomplished, He was also resurrected for us. Then at a certain time we were born and grew up, and somehow we heard the gospel and believed in Jesus. Previously, the gospel may have seemed like a superstition to us, but we could not help believing it. Moreover, the more we believed, the more comfortable and happy we were. Have you seen a family or nation that believes in Jesus but is not blessed?
Dear brothers and sisters, we truly must understand that we are those chosen by God and that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, He also brought us to the cross. He is all-inclusive, His death is all-inclusive, and His resurrection is limitless. When a grain of wheat dies, many grains are produced. What is sown is one grain, but what is brought forth are many grains. One Jesus was buried in the tomb, but tens of millions of people were resurrected. Today we are all in Christ. Very often we feel weak in ourselves, and we all have many problems. However, the Lord’s word tells us that in Christ we can do all things. In Christ, we are all strong and not weak. Do not believe in your weakness; that is Satan’s lie. Each one of us is strong because we are the resurrected ones, and today we are sitting in the heavenlies.
A. To Bring Man into God That Humanity May Be Mingled with Divinity
Christ resurrected from the dead to bring man into God that humanity may be mingled with divinity.
B. To Become the Life-giving Spirit for the Dispensing of God’s Life into Man
Christ also resurrected from the dead to become the life-giving Spirit for the dispensing of God’s life into man.
V. ASCENDING TO THE HEAVENS
A. To Be Made by God Both Lord and Christ
Dear brothers and sisters, there are no words which are more excellent and trustworthy than the words of the Bible. The Bible tells us that we have been chosen by God and that God has put us in Christ. When Christ died, we died together with Him. When Christ resurrected, we were raised up together with Him. When Christ ascended, we ascended with Him to the heavenlies and were seated with Him on the throne. Today, we look neither at the environment nor at our own condition. We look only at Him. As the Lord in the heavens today, this Jesus rules over everything, and as Christ, He accomplishes everything.
B. To Be Given by God to Be Head over All Things to the Church That All Things May Be Headed Up in Him
He is also the Head over all things for the church and to the church, so that all things may be headed up in Him. The people of the world are sinful and degraded. Sin and degradation cause people to be scattered. However, when we believe in the Lord Jesus, He heads us up in Himself. Therefore, today when we preach the gospel, we bring people into the Lord Jesus. All those people who believe will be headed up in Christ as the Head.
C. To Pour Out on His Body the All-inclusive Spirit Promised by God
Lastly, when He ascended to the heavens and received the all-inclusive Spirit from the Father, He poured this Spirit out upon all who believe in Him. In this Spirit we have become one Body, which is the church. When I come to this point, my heart is so joyful and my spirit leaps. Glory, hallelujah! We who are in Christ have been seated together with Him in the heavenlies, and we have the Holy Spirit poured out upon us to make us one Body for His testimony.
(The All-Inclusiveness and Unlimitedness of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)