The Central Thought of God, by Witness Lee


God is in Christ, Christ is the expression of God, and God in Christ is on the throne at the center of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). These three items—God as light, the redemption of Christ, and the authority in the light—are a picture of the authority, the headship, and the lordship of God in Christ.

According to the measurements of the holy city, the New Jerusalem is a mountain. The city itself lies square, and its length, breadth, and height are all twelve thousand stadia (21:16). The wall is one hundred and forty-four cubits high and is much lower than the city itself. This indicates that although the bottom part of the city is a square, the top part of the city must not be. Rather, the top of the city is a peak. Therefore, the city must be a mountain. The throne of God in Christ, no doubt, is on the top of the mountain. So, the throne is the highest and central point of the city. Everything comes out of this throne. The river flows from the throne in the midst of the street, which starts from the throne. Since this one street meets the need at all the twelve gates, it must start from the top where the throne is and spiral through the entire city to reach all the twelve gates.

This picture is very meaningful. God as light is in Christ as the redeeming One, and the throne of God in Christ is the exercise of His authority. Out of these three—light, redemption, and authority—come all things. If we have God as light in the redeeming Christ to exercise His authority among us today in the church, then we have everything. We have the tree of life, we have the river flowing with the living water, we have the street of life, and we have the golden city, the pearls as the gates, and the precious stones as the foundations. We have everything. All the aspects of the church and all the riches of the church come out of God as light in the redeeming Christ exercising His authority.

What we need today is to acknowledge the redemption of Christ, be under the light of God, and be in subjection to the authority of God. Sinners need to repent because the kingdom has come; this means that the authority of God, the divine heavenly ruling, has come. The kingdom of the heavens simply indicates the heavenly ruling. Why do we commit sins and constantly do things against God? It is simply because we do not subject ourselves under His authority. If we are willing to be subjected under His authority, everything is all right, and there are no problems. The divine authority is exercised in the light of God and in the redemption of Christ. Therefore, we have to receive the redemption of Christ that we may be in the light of God, and then we will be under the authority of God. Today in the church there is the need for God to exercise His authority as light in the redeeming Savior, Christ, and there is also the need for us to be subjected under His authority. When we realize the authority of God by the light of God in the redemption of Christ, we will have the riches of Christ. All the riches of Christ will be the reality in the church. Then we will have the real expression of Christ. The way to realize the real church life is to realize the redemption of Christ in the light of God and to subject ourselves to the authority of God, that is, to have God as light in the redeeming Christ exercising His authority over us. This is the only way for us to have the real church life.

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