The Vision of God's Building, by Witness Lee


All good Bible students agree that the eighth Psalm is a continuation of Genesis 1. Notice, the Psalmist did not begin this Psalm by declaring, “O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the heavens…” No, he did not stress the heavens. Rather, he said, “How excellent is Thy name in all the earth.” I believe the Psalmist was meditating during the night when he wrote this Psalm. Being human, as we are, he considered God’s heavens, the moon and the stars. As he beheld the heavens, however, he did not exclaim, “What is an angel that Thou art mindful of him.” No, he asked, “What is man…” I do not understand this wonderful reasoning. The Psalmist was considering the heavens, yet he quickly reverted to man and to God’s care for man on this earth. I point out these verses only to illustrate that in the thought of the Psalmist there was perhaps a place for angels, but in the divine concept, man’s position was much more important. And to God, earth is much more important than heaven. At the end of this Psalm, God is again praised for the excellence of His name in all the earth.


Heaven and earth are the realm and sphere of God’s creation, with so many created things as the environment. But the earth, with man as the center, is God’s primary concern. Why does God need man as the center of His creation? Because man is the expression and the authority of God. If we are acquainted with all Scripture, we will clearly see that God’s deep desire is to be expressed, and, even more, to be represented through man upon this earth. God exists in this universe, but who has seen Him? God’s deep desire is to be expressed, not through or by Himself, but through man. The New Testament uncovers this great mystery: God manifested Himself in flesh, in a man. We know God is real, yet no man had ever seen Him. However, He has now been expressed through humanity. God is constantly desirous of expressing Himself, using man as His vessel and representative on this earth.

God never ordained anything else to be His representative, holding His authority. Out of the multimillion items of His creation, God ordained only man to be His representative on this earth. This is why man was expressly made in God’s image and committed with God’s authority.

If you bear God’s image, then you express God. You are a photo, a reproduction of God. Man exists for one purpose, that is to express God. But such an expression is only possible when we actually resemble God. When we acquire God’s likeness, we will then express Him and have His authority and dominion. This is God’s intention for us. Later, we will define God’s purpose in being expressed through man and represented by man. Our present aim is to clearly point out that God’s intention in creation is to have man as His expression.


The thought of building is in Genesis one. God said, “Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion…” God first mentions “man” in the singular number, but follows with the plural pronoun, “them.” Did God then create one man, or many men at that time? The answer is, when God created man He did not create a small individual, but a collective man, including you! God created you and the entire human race in Adam. So, the man God created is collectively singular.

The “old man,” Adam, failed God. So He had to create another man, a new man in Christ. The question arises again, is this new man one person or many persons? Again, we must answer, the new man is also one! Thus, from God’s viewpoint, there are only two men in this universe: the old man and the new man. All in Adam belong to that old man, and everyone who is in Christ belongs to the new man. The New Testament says that Christ created in Himself one new man out of two peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles (Eph. 2:15). We are further told that this one new man is the Body of Christ (Eph. 2:16). So this new man is a collective man.

Are Christians then one or many? First Corinthians 10:17 says that we are many, yet we are one bread, one Body. We are many, yet we are one, collectively one; and we must be built up as one.

(The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)