IX. CONSUMMATING IN THE NEW JERUSALEM
This organism consummates in the New Jerusalem, firstly, in the millennial kingdom in a small scale (Rev. 2:7; 3:12), then lastly, in the new heaven and new earth in the full scale (Rev. 21:1-3, 9-21; 22:1-2). Actually, this organism is what the entire Bible is about. The divine revelation of the Bible begins with God (Gen. 1:1) and consummates in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2). The first item in the Bible is God, and the last item is the New Jerusalem. In between is Christ and the church. The Bible teaches us about God, whose consummation is in the New Jerusalem through Christ and the church. This is the Bible.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BEING A LIFE OF LIVING CHRIST FOR THE CONSTITUTION OF HIS BODY
According to the items covered above, we can see that we Christians, as members of the Body of Christ, are very particular persons. However, many Christians do not walk up to the standard of God according to what the Bible says about the believers. To most of the Christians, the Christian life is a matter of learning the Bible and improving their character and conduct to please God, to glorify Him, to save sinners through their preaching of the gospel of God, etc. But I must tell you, this is not up to the standard of God’s intention in His eternal redemption and complete salvation. A Christian should be one who mainly lives Christ (Phil. 1:20-21) for the constitution of the Body of Christ, which is enlarged and constituted with all His real believers, with Christ as their life element (Rom. 12:5).
The divine revelation of the entire Bible unveils to us that God in His eternal economy wants to have an organic Body for Christ. It was for this purpose that He created man in His own image and after His own likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). It was for this purpose that He intended to be man’s life (Gen. 2:9). It was for this purpose that He became incarnated to be a man and to join Himself with man as one. It was for this purpose that He accomplished His eternal redemption through crucifixion and carried out His complete salvation through resurrection. It was for this purpose that He poured Himself out as the all-inclusive and consummated Spirit for the constitution of the church as the Body of Christ. It was for this purpose that He has chosen, predestinated, called, redeemed, saved, and regenerated us with Himself as our life in Christ, that we may be the organic members of the Body of Christ. It was also for this purpose that He is sanctifying, renewing, and transforming us for the growth and building up of the Body of Christ. By all this we can have a clear view to see that God’s intention in His eternal economy is to have us grow Christ, live Christ, and magnify Christ, that we may be mature in Christ to have His full stature and to be built up through transformation in the full measure of His fullness (Eph. 4:11-16).
Paul the apostle, when he was Saul, was mistaken to keep the law of God as the main goal of his life. After he was saved and regenerated, the main goal of his life was corrected from keeping the law to living Christ. He saw that he was crucified with Christ and it was no longer he who lived but Christ who lived in him (Gal. 2:20). So, he endeavored to live Christ that Christ might be magnified in him (Phil. 1:20-21) for the building up of the Body of Christ (Col. 1:24) and the fulfillment of God’s eternal economy (Eph. 3:9-10).
Being a Christian depends mainly on living Christ for the constitution and building up of the Body of Christ. This is the reality of the Lord’s recovery in this age. Without Christ as the life element for the constitution of the Body of Christ, and without the Body of Christ as the full expression of the all-inclusive Christ, the recovery today would become zero. Do not consider the church merely according to outward teachings and practices, concerning the matters of the local churches, the universal church, local autonomy, or of this or that. The church in its reality is not in this realm. The church is altogether a matter of Christ whom we live and magnify. If you live yourself, you are neither the universal church nor a local church. But if we live Christ, He is everything—the universal church and the local church. Why are there divisions today? Simply because people talk about doctrines and practices concerning the church, but neglect the living of Christ. If they do live Christ, no division would come into being.
SEVEN FIGURES IN THE HISTORY OF THE TRIUNE GOD
This is the history of the Triune God. Firstly, the Bible shows us that the Triune God was signified by the tree of life. Then He came in incarnation to be the one grain in the flesh, who died and resurrected to produce the many grains. Through incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection God became the many grains which are we. As the many grains we are ground into flour to make one bread, and this bread is the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is the new man as the organism of the Triune God, which eventually consummates in the New Jerusalem. In the history of the Triune God there are these seven figures: the tree of life, the grain of wheat, the many grains, the one bread, the Body of Christ, the new man, and the New Jerusalem. Remember these seven figures, for they are the very extract of the entire Bible.
(The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)