IV. ALL THE REGENERATED AND PERFECTED BELIEVERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WILL BE THE COMPONENTS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM, WHICH IS THE CHURCH’S ULTIMATE CONSUMMATION
[God’s intention is that the church will consummate in the New Jerusalem. All the regenerated and perfected believers as members of the church, represented by the twelve apostles (Rev. 21:14), will be the components of the New Jerusalem. After the dispensation of grace, there will be the dispensation of the kingdom. During this dispensation, all the perfected ones, including the overcomers of the Old Testament and the overcomers of the New Testament, will be the totality of overcomers to be the New Jerusalem. They will be the New Jerusalem in its first stage, the stage of the millennium. During this stage, the New Jerusalem will be Christ’s bride. Also during the millennium, the defeated, slothful, immature believers will be perfected through their suffering of the Lord’s dispensational and governmental discipline. Therefore, after the millennium, they also will be components of the New Jerusalem in the second stage, that is, in the new heaven and the new earth. In this second stage the New Jerusalem will be enlarged to be the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21. This enlarged New Jerusalem will be the consummation of the church. From this we can see that the ultimate consummation of the church life will be the New Jerusalem, first in a smaller scale in the millennium composed only of the overcomers and then in an enlarged scale in the new heaven and the new earth composed of all the believers of the New Testament.]
A. Consummated in Enjoying the Eternal and Divine Life of the Processed and Consummated Triune God
[The proper church life today is the enjoyment of the eternal and divine life of the processed and consummated Triune God. This enjoyment is just a foretaste; the full taste will be in New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth, which will be the consummation of our enjoyment of our processed and consummated Triune God in its fullest without limitation for eternity.]
B. Consummated in Experiencing the Mingling of Humanity with Divinity
[Our Christian life today is the experience of the mingling of divinity with humanity in the dispensing of the unsearchable riches of the processed and consummated divine Trinity. This is also a foretaste, and its full taste as its consummation will be also in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth eternally.]
C. Consummated in Expressing the Triune God in His Ultimate Manifestation for Eternity
[Both our Christian life and church life are the expression of the processed and consummated Triune God in His ultimate manifestation for eternity. Today this is just in the initial stage. Its consummation will be also in the New Jerusalem as the ultimate manifestation of the processed and consummated Triune God for eternity.
The church today should grow and be built up in the three matters of enjoying the eternal and divine life of the processed and consummated Triune God, of experiencing the mingling of humanity with divinity in the dispensing of the unsearchable riches of the processed and consummated divine Trinity, and of expressing the processed and consummated Triune God in His ultimate manifestation. This means that the church must grow and be built up in the enjoyment of the eternal, divine life, the life of the processed and consummated Triune God; that the church must grow and be built up in experiencing the mingling of the believers with the Triune God in the way of His dispensing of the unsearchable riches of the processed and consummated divine Trinity; and that the church must grow and be built up in the expression of the processed and consummated Triune God in His manifestation. This is the church life.
In some of the foregoing messages we covered the various aspects of the status of the church: the assembly, the house of God, the kingdom of God, the Body of Christ, the counterpart of Christ, the new man, and the golden lampstands. Now we need to see that all these matters can be realized by us in the local churches only as we enjoy the life of the processed and consummated Triune God, experience the mingling of humanity with divinity in the dispensing of the unsearchable riches of the processed and consummated divine Trinity, and express the processed and consummated Triune God in His manifestation.]
The Lord loves us very much. His mercy upon us is immeasurable. We left God, offended God, and were under the righteous judgment of God. We were void of the life of God needed to fulfill His purpose. Rather, we were filled with Satan’s life and nature to cause us to struggle in sin all our life. Yet, God is full of love and mercy. He became a man to die for us to meet God’s righteous demand so that we do not have to die. He destroyed the devil and left our flesh of sin on the cross so that we may be free from the law of sin and of death. Then He released His life on the cross, and as the life-giving Spirit, through resurrection, He brought the life of God into us. He, as the Spirit, is now mingled with us, supplying us daily with His life to transform us. He also brought us into the church to be with all the saints that we may go on together and be built-up together to fulfill God’s purpose. This is our foretaste in this age.
If we enjoy the foretaste properly by exercising our spirit everyday all the day long, then we will receive a reward which is the enjoyment of the full-taste, the New Jerusalem, a thousand years earlier. Even if some miss this foretaste period due to sin and the world, He will be merciful to give them another opportunity to be perfected in the next age. Ultimately, those who are perfected in the next age will join those who are perfected in this age to be the New Jerusalem, enjoying the full-taste for eternity. Hallelujah! What a loving and merciful God we have. We all must give ourselves diligently to enjoy the Lord by praying in spirit and reading His Word. We must also exercise to live in the local church life by preaching the gospel and meeting with the saints to increase the church and to be built up. We should not hesitate. Now is the time. This is the age. We can be the ones to overcome and bring this age to a conclusion.
(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)