The Central Thought of God, by Witness Lee


Now we must go further to see more details concerning this corporate heavenly vessel. With passages such as Revelation 21 and 22, we must be very much before the Lord, looking to Him for the proper understanding. Hence, when we come to the details of the New Jerusalem, we cannot go too fast. God in Christ is the center of the New Jerusalem as the divine vessel. We may also say that Christ as the expression of God is the center of this divine corporate vessel. In the picture of the New Jerusalem, the invisible God is likened to light that shines with glory (21:11, 23; 22:5). When light shines, it does a work. Light is a ruling power; it rules when it shines. Darkness, on the other hand, brings in confusion and disorderliness without any rule. In order to destroy a government, you must first throw everything in it into darkness. Similarly, when you turn off the lights in a room, everything is in confusion and disorder, but when you turn the lights on again, the light rules and brings everything back into order. If all the lights in a major city were to go out, the whole city would be in darkness, and there would be robbery, looting, and killing. When the lights come back on, however, there is the ruling and governing, and the entire city is restored to good order.

In the six days of God’s creation for restoration, the first thing restored was the light (Gen. 1:3). When God divided the light from the darkness, light came in to rule (vv. 4, 16). Where God is, surely there is light shining, and where God shines, there is the ruling power. If we have the presence of God in the church, we have the light, we are in the light of God, we are in God as light, we are under the light of God, and all of us are ruled. All confusion is subdued, and all things are brought into order. If there is confusion among us, it simply means that we do not have God as light and that we are in darkness. Today the church is a miniature of the New Jerusalem. In this smaller New Jerusalem, if we have God as the center in Christ, we have the light, and the first thing light does is rule everything and keep everything in order. When light shines, it also generates. Life comes from light. When the light of God shines into you, the life of God comes into you. Light always brings life to us. When we have God as light, we first have order and then life. We can see this in Genesis 1. On the first day when light came in, there was the dividing; that is, the keeping of order began. Before light came in, everything was in chaos. After light came in, light was divided from darkness and things began to be kept in order. After this, the waters below were divided from the waters above, and life came out of this order. If there is the light of God, there is the ruling power and there is order, and if there is the ruling power and order, there is the generating power, the yielding of life. All kinds of lives came out because of the light. This is the picture in the New Jerusalem. God is the ruling center of the New Jerusalem as the shining light. From this light come out all the riches of life. God is light and from Him flows the river of water of life, and in this living water grows the tree of life.


Furthermore, this very God, who as light rules and generates all the time, is in Christ the Lamb as the lamp. Revelation 21:23b tells us that the glory of God illumines the city, and its lamp is the Lamb. Just as light cannot be separated from a lamp, so God can never be separated from Christ. If light is separated from a lamp, the light is no more, and if the lamp is separated from the light, the lamp is no longer a lamp because it does not have light. Hence, light is one with the lamp. This picture shows us that God is one with Christ. God is the light and Christ as the Lamb is the lamp. They cannot be separated; they are two in one.

Moreover, as the Lamb, Christ is the redeeming One. Without Him as the redeeming One, we can never come to touch, to contact, God as light since we are so sinful and so much in darkness. Because no one can exist or stand before God in His light, we need redemption; we need the Lamb. It is only by redemption and by the blood that we can come to contact God. First John chapter one says that God is light and that when we come to fellowship with Him, we are in the light (vv. 5, 7a). Then when we are in the light, we see how sinful we are, so we need the blood of Jesus to cleanse us (v. 7b). When we are in the light of God, we need redemption; that is, we need the Lamb. We can testify this from our experience. Whenever we contact God as light, we have the sense that we need redemption, we need the redeeming blood of the Lord, and we need the Lord as the Lamb. Christ as the Lamb, the redeeming One, is the Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). Through Him and in Him we can contact God, and in Him and through Him God can reveal Himself to us. Today God, who is light, is in the Lamb, the redeeming One, and in eternity Christ will still be the Lamb in whom the very God who is light will be experienced by us. Furthermore, the Lamb, who is the redeeming Christ, is the very expression of God, who is light.

(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)