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


Not long after Adam was created, he fell and became the first sinner. He is, therefore, a type of the sinner. On the side of creation, he represents Christ. On the side of the fall, he represents us the sinners. From Adam, the fallen one, to Noah, the one working together with God, we have a type of the fallen sinner becoming a saint working together with God. We were all Adam, fallen sinners. But God has saved us and has made us step by step to be Noah, working together with God and building an ark for Him.

The Fallen Adam Wearing the Skin of the Sacrifice

When Adam sinned, he knew that he was naked and had nowhere to hide himself (Gen. 3:7-8). God gave him the skin of the sacrifice for coats (3:21) to be his covering. This typifies that we, the descendants of Adam and the fallen sinners, are all naked and are not able to stand before God. But the Lord Jesus has become the Lamb of God (John 1:29) having been slain for us and having shed His blood to redeem us from our sins. Moreover, He gave Himself to us to be our righteous covering. Hence, we who have believed and are baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27) and are able to stand before God.

Abel, the One Inheriting Salvation, Offering Up a Lamb as a Sacrifice

After Adam we have Abel. Genesis 4:4 says that Abel offered up a lamb as a sacrifice for God’s acceptance. This typifies that we, the saved ones who have put on Christ, live daily in Christ to live Him out, that we would become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). When we offer up this Christ that we live out as a sacrifice to God for His satisfaction, we are accepted by God in Him.

Enosh, the Frail One, Calling On the Name of Jehovah

The third person is Enosh. The meaning of his name is the frail one. He called on the name of Jehovah. This is a type of the frail believer calling on the name of the Lord to enjoy Him as his portion. After we are saved, we put on Christ as our righteousness before God and learn to live in Him to live Him out. But many times we feel that we are weak and not able to overcome our own weaknesses. The only way is to call “O Lord Jesus!” By calling on His name, we overcome to enjoy the riches of the Lord.

Enoch, the One Pursuing after God, Walking with God

The fourth person is Enoch, the one pursuing after God and walking with God. He is a type of the believer who pursues after the Lord and who lives and moves together with the Lord. When you are about to lose your temper or show a long face, you can experience victory, walk with the Lord, and live together with Him by calling on the name of the Lord. In this way you are changed from an “Enosh” to an “Enoch,” from a weak believer to one who walks with the Lord.

Noah, the One Walking with God, Working with Him

The fifth person is Noah. Noah worked with God to build the ark. This is one step further from Enoch’s walking with God. First, the fallen sinner Adam puts on Christ, being acceptable to God to become Abel. Then through his weakness, he becomes Enosh who calls on the Lord all the time. As a further step, he becomes Enoch who walks with God. As a result, he becomes Noah who works together with God, building the ark every day, not only for the salvation of others, but to save himself as well. Philippians 2:12 says to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Today we all have to be in fear and trembling, walking with God, working together with Him to build our own ark, so that we can save not only others but also ourselves from the judgment of God and the corrupted age into a new age. In this new age, we live before God to offer up the burnt offering for God’s satisfaction.

Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, and Noah form the first group of five people. Their history is a picture of every believer. We are sinners saved by God to the extent that we become those who work together with God.

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