A MUTUAL LIVING WITH CHRIST WHO LIVES IN US
We need to live a life with Christ who lives in us, to have a mutual abiding, a mutual building, a mutual living. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Yet Paul went on to say, “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20). Paul lived by the faith of Christ. The faith of Christ is nothing less than Christ Himself. Christ is the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). For Paul to live by the faith of Christ meant that he lived by Christ. Christ lived in him, and he lived by Christ. He did this by the bountiful supply, not of the Spirit of God, but of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who became incarnated, passed through human living, died on the cross, and was resurrected. Such a One today is the bountiful Spirit. It is by this bountiful Spirit with His bountiful supply that Paul lived Christ and magnified Christ (Phil. 1:19-21a). He also said that he was pursuing after Christ, desiring to be conformed to His death by realizing the power of His resurrection (3:10).
How could we live with Christ? Not by ourselves, but by the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ and by being conformed to His death through the power of His resurrection. I can live a life that is seemingly a human life, but not by my natural life. My natural life is left on the cross, and my daily life is being conformed to the image of Christ’s death. Christ’s death is a mold, and my living is a piece of dough put into the mold to be conformed to the image of the mold. Day by day I am dying to live. I am dying by the cross to live in the power of resurrection.
Paul said that such a person has his being in this marvelous Spirit and does everything according to such a Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25; Rom. 8:4). David was a man according to God’s heart, but that is far away from what we have. We are God-men who are doing things and having our being not only according to God’s heart but also according to the Spirit who has been processed and consummated through death and resurrection. We need to check whether or not we are doing everything in the Spirit and having our being according to such a Spirit.
THE REALITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST CONSUMMATING IN THE NEW JERUSALEM
The reality of the Body of Christ is the aggregate, the totality, of such a living by a group of God-men. This kind of a living, which is the reality of the Body of Christ, will close this age, the age of the church, and will bring Christ back to take, possess, and rule over this earth with these God-men in the kingdom age. They were perfected, completed, and consummated in the church age. So in the next age, the kingdom age, they will reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6).
The many believers who were not perfected and matured in the church age will be perfected and matured in the kingdom age by God’s disciplinary dealing. God has a way. Not one believer can participate in the New Jerusalem without being perfected and matured. So in the thousand years of the kingdom age, God exercises His sovereignty to discipline these dear ones, to deal with them in many ways, in order that He could perfect them to make them mature. At the end of the thousand years, they will be ready to join the ones who were matured earlier in participating in the New Jerusalem.
Today in the church age, the God-men who were perfected and matured are Zion, the overcomers, the vital groups within the churches. But in the new heaven and new earth, there will be no more Zion, only Jerusalem, because all the unqualified saints will have been qualified to be Zion. In other words, the entire New Jerusalem will become Zion. What is Zion? Zion is the very spot where God is, that is, the Holy of Holies. In Revelation 21 there is a sign signifying that the New Jerusalem will be the Holy of Holies. Its dimensions are the dimensions of a cube, twelve thousand stadia long, twelve thousand stadia wide, and twelve thousand stadia high (v. 16). That is the Holy of Holies, because the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament in both the tabernacle and the temple was a cube, equal in length, breadth, and height (Exo. 26:2-8; 1 Kings 6:20).
(Practical Points Concerning Blending, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)