THE CENTRAL THOUGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES
We need to be adjusted in our thinking. If we trace the history of the thought concerning the “heavenly mansions,” we will find that it comes from the teaching of Roman Catholicism based on superstition. We do believe that there is a paradise prepared by God, but we must realize and remember well that the divine thought in the entire Scriptures is not that God is seeking a physical habitation. A physical habitation can never satisfy God. The central and divine thought of the Scriptures is that God is seeking a divine building as the mingling of Himself with humanity. He is seeking a living composition of living persons redeemed by and mingled with Himself.
After His creation, God began and is still carrying out the work of the divine building. Even today God is doing the work of the divine building, which is to mingle Himself with man. We preach the gospel not merely to win souls or save souls from hell but to minister God Himself through the Spirit to man so that God can be mingled with man. In this way we gain the materials for the divine building. Likewise, we minister Christ to the saints so that they can be mingled and built up together with Christ. This is the basic and central thought behind what we do.
If through my ministry I have not been able to help anyone to be mingled with Christ more and more, my ministry is a complete failure. The success of a ministry is in ministering Christ into people and helping them to mingle with Christ. Before we come under such a ministry, we may have only a little of Christ, but after we come, we gain much Christ. This ministry ministers Christ to us, helps us to grow in Christ, and mingles us with Christ all the time. This carries out the building, which is the divine mingling of God Himself with man.
To be mingled with God day by day is a deep, basic, and central matter. Husbands should love their wives, and wives should submit to their husbands, but for husbands merely to love their wives means little. The real love that is worthy before God is the love that is a mingling of Christ with the husbands. If Christ is mingled in the love of a person, there is the divine building. Some people say that Japanese wives are very submissive to their husbands. However, simply to submit to a husband means little. The submission of the wives should be something of Christ mingled with them. If there is something of Christ mingled with a wife’s submission, there is the divine building. Both the love of the husbands and the submission of the wives must be the mingling of Christ with man, that is, the divine building.
Remember well that after His work of creation, God’s work of building is to mingle Himself with man. In every spiritual experience, God must be mingled with us as the divine building. It is not sufficient to be humble or to love and submit. There must be the divine building, which is the mingling of God within. By this word we can now understand what the building of God, the house of God, and the dwelling of God are. The dwelling place of God is the mingling of God with man. This is also the building of the church. By the grace of God, may we more and more see the mingling of God with man as the real, divine building.
(The Building of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)