A VOICE COMING OUT OF THEIR WINGS
As the living creatures moved, Ezekiel heard the voice of their wings (1:24). This means that as they moved in such a coordination, a voice came out. This voice was their testimony. The voice of the testimony of any local church must come out of the proper coordination. It should not be the voice of any individual believer; it should be the voice of the coordination. The voice comes out of the wings joined one to another.
Before the day of Pentecost, Peter was one who often spoke something by himself. What he spoke was nearly always rejected by the Lord. This is because he spoke something by himself (Matt. 17:4-5, 24-27). But after the Lord’s ascension, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven (Acts 2:14). I do believe that when the Twelve stood there, they were like the four living creatures.
The voice which came out was not the voice of an individual Peter, but the voice of a corporate body. The four living creatures stretched their two wings for coordination and for moving and for giving the voice.
TWO WINGS COVERING THEMSELVES
At the same time, they used their other two wings to cover themselves. This means that in the church life, in the coordination, we all must learn to hide ourselves under the Lord’s grace. Do not display yourself, but rather hide your- self. Hide under the eagle’s wings. There should be no manifestation of any self or any individual. Regardless of how great our portion is, we must hide ourselves under the Lord’s grace. We should never boast in ourselves, but in Him.
AS THE SOUND OF GREAT WATERS
Such a local church will then be qualified and adequate to sound out the voice and to give a strong testimony. The voice will not be like that of an individual person, but like the sound of great waters (1:24). We all must look to the Lord that the testimonies of all the local churches would be like the sound of great waters. One individual brother should not always speak something for the local church, but a coordinated body should sound the voice and give the testimony. People will be astonished at this kind of voice. They will say that the voice of this local church is like the sound of great waters.
AS THE VOICE OF THE ALMIGHTY
It says also that this voice is the voice of the Almighty (1:24). It becomes the voice of God Himself. It is the voice of a corporate body, but it becomes the voice of God. How marvelous!
AS THE VOICE OF AN ARMY
Eventually the voice is that of a fighting army (1:24). Sometimes, the atmosphere in the local churches may not be like this because they do not have such a clear, expanding, and stable heaven. When they do not have a proper fellowship and coordination, they may try to vindicate themselves and claim to have something. If they have something real, they do not need to claim anything. If they are always claiming that they are rich, it indicates actually they are poor. A millionaire does not need to claim that he is rich. Only a poor beggar would claim that he has a million dollars in the bank.
Can you see this wonderful picture? Look at the expanse. Look at the move. Look at the coordination. Look at the fellowship. This is the voice of great waters, the voice of the Almighty, and the voice of an army. Please remember that this cannot be accomplished in us overnight. We must begin with the blowing wind from the north and pass through all the experiences. The experience of all these things brings us to the crystal-clear sky. All the local churches must come to this point. All must follow one another to get to this point. In the New Jerusalem there is only one way, one street. We need to follow one another to come to this one point. We need a clear sky with a wide expanse which is awesome and terrible in the eyes of other people. When we arrive at that stage, we will have a proper testimony. We will have a voice like the sound of great waters and like that of the Almighty God and like that of an army fighting the battle for God’s economy.
LETTING DOWN THEIR WINGS
TO LISTEN TO GOD’S VOICE
Notice, however, that the living creatures do not move all the time. Sometimes they stop and stand still. When they stand still, they lower their wings (1:24). When they hear a voice out of the clear sky above their heads, they stop and let down their wings. This means they know how to listen to God’s voice. They know not only how to speak and sound forth their own voice, but also how to listen to God’s voice. While they listen to God’s voice, they stop moving, they stand still, and they lower their wings. Is this the situation in your local church? I am afraid that the local church where you are may not know how to lower their wings, to stop and listen to the voice from the sky. I am afraid that in your church there may not be the proper coordination, but rather a one-man show. The coordination of the four living creatures is not a one-man show. One person does not decide everything. It is a coordination of all the living creatures. In some of the local churches it is really like a one-man show. That one person insists that everyone and everything must be under his control. This is why that local church is weak and narrow and poor. No matter what that local church claims to have, in fact it has nothing. There is no voice from the wings.
We all must have a clear picture of what is the proper church life. The first chapter of Ezekiel has the clearest picture in the whole Bible concerning the proper church life. The coordination shown there is marvelous. All the experiences in a wonderful sequence bring the living creatures to a point that they are under a crystal-clear, expanding, and stable heaven. Thus, they have a proper move on this earth and they can give the whole universe the proper voice and testimony. Here they learn to stop and listen to God’s voice. They know how to give the voice by moving and they know how to listen to God’s voice by stopping. May the Lord cause all the local churches to be brought into such an experience.
(The Visions of Ezekiel, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)