The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee


What is the second crucial figure in the Bible? Perhaps you would say the tabernacle, or perhaps the temple. But according to the crucial view, the first figure in the Bible is the life tree, and the second one relates to Christ’s coming. We do have such a Christ who is the embodiment of the Triune God as the source of life signified by the life tree. But what follows the tree of life is Christ’s coming.

Perhaps you may say, "But the coming of Christ is recorded in the first chapter of the New Testament, in Matthew 1, and the tree of life, the tree of God, is found in Genesis 2. What about the thirty-nine books in between?" Actually, the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament speak only of one person, Christ. This is why the Lord Jesus told His disciples that in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms He was mentioned (Luke 24:44). These are the three parts of the Old Testament. Each of the three sections speaks about Christ. Therefore, after the Bible tells us who Christ is by showing us the tree of life, it has thirty-nine books to present Christ to us. Christ is the subject of the Old Testament. Genesis 1 is about Christ. Genesis 2 is about Christ. Malachi 4 is also about Christ. Then after this presentation of Christ, Christ comes in Matthew 1. Hallelujah, Christ is here!

A. Through Incarnation to Become Flesh—
a Man in "the Likeness of the Flesh"

When I was young, I was taught that Jesus loves us and that He came down from heaven to earth. But I did not know how He came down to earth. Christ is God, and no one could approach Him. He is the invisible, mysterious God. Yet one day, four thousand years after He created the first man Adam, He came. After He created Adam, this Christ remained hidden for four thousand years. But during those four thousand years, He prophesied here and there, telling people that He would come. In Genesis 3:15 He told us He would come. In Isaiah 7:14 He said He would come through a virgin. In Isaiah 9:6 He said He would come as the Son and yet He would be called the Father. Then, four thousand years after He created Adam, He came.

The Bible tells us that Christ came through incarnation (John 1:14; Rom. 8:3b; 1 Tim. 3:16a). He came by entering into the womb of a virgin and by being begotten there (Matt. 1:18-20). The invisible God entered into a human virgin and was begotten there. Moreover, He stayed there in the womb for nine months. In this way, He as God was mingled with man. Then after being in the womb nine months, He was born. He was born, on the one hand, as God, and, on the other hand, as man. So He was a God-man with a human name, Jesus Christ. Yet people were to call Him Emmanuel, which means, God with us (Matt. 1:23). He is indeed a man, but He is also God. This was the greatest miracle in the whole universe, even more miraculous than the creation of the universe. God entered into man and stayed in a human womb for nine months, and then when He was born, He was both God and man. So in human history there was on this earth a particular One who is both God and man. There was no other one like Him.

(The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)