GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE— GOD MINGLING HIMSELF WITH MAN
The unique purpose of God in creating all things and mankind, in leading us through all kinds of environments, and in continually working in us in various ways is to mingle Himself with us that He may become our content, our life, and our nature. However, it is very difficult for the saints to be deeply impressed with this kind of word. Why is this? It is because God’s purpose is basically nonexistent in us. It is absent not only from our thought but also from our hope. Hence, all of us who are saved should pray that the Lord will open our eyes not only to see corruption, sinfulness, and vanity but also to see something higher, deeper, and more spiritual—to see that God’s purpose is to mingle Himself with man.
Today many Christians teach people that there are heaven and hell, that man is sinful and evil, that man should fear God and repent to God, that Jesus Christ bore the sins of man and died for man on the cross to receive God’s punishment on man’s behalf, and that by believing in Him man will be saved. Their conclusion is that man should love God, serve God, and live a life of holiness by God. They think that to attain to this stage is praiseworthy and satisfactory. However, it may be praiseworthy for man but not for God. Man may be satisfied by this, but God cannot be satisfied.
God’s central purpose, His central will, His eternal plan, is not merely that man would be redeemed, have a loving heart, and live a life of holiness. What God desires is much more than this. God’s eternal will, His mysterious plan, His heart’s desire, is that He would enter into man, into you and me, to be mingled with you and me. He wants His life to be mingled with our life, His nature to be mingled with our nature, His personality to be mingled with our personality, and His element to be mingled with our element. He wants to mingle with us to the extent that it is hard to say whether He is God or a man or whether we are men or God. At this time God and man, man and God, will be inseparable and even indistinguishable. God’s nature becomes man’s nature, and God and man, having become one and mingled together, cannot be separated.
We do not have an adequate knowledge of the Lord because we do not even know how to answer the question regarding whether the Lord is God or man. One day, however, God will show us that Christ is God becoming flesh, God manifested in the flesh, and God mingled with man. Once we see this vision, we will say with exultation, “The Lord in whom we believe is said to be God, and He truly is God. He is also said to be a man, and He really is a man. He is God yet man, man yet God. Today He is in heaven as the One who is God yet man, man yet God—the One who is the mingling of God with man. He is not only simultaneously God and man but also the mingling of God and man. God and man are not two; rather, the two have become one. It is hard to say whether He is merely God or merely man, because the two have become one.”
CHRIST BEING MINGLED WITH US TO TRANSFORM US
What does it mean to be saved? To be saved means that from now on you have God’s life within you, and you are not the same anymore. Originally, you were a real man. One day, however, you repented and believed in the Lord Jesus by opening your heart and spirit to Him. As a result, He came into you. From that point on, you changed in nature. (If you have not changed in nature, I am afraid that you are still not saved.) Formerly you were only a man, but since you received Jesus as your Savior, you have changed in nature. A person who has changed in nature is a saved person.
For example, if this cup of water tastes sour, you would not dare to drink it. However, after sugar is added into it, it is sweetened and tastes good. Why is this? This is because something else has been added into it. Hence, believing in Jesus is not for man to be improved or reformed. Neither is it to receive the Christian religion and to be taught its beliefs. To truly believe in Jesus is to have the Spirit of Christ imparted into you, to have a great measure of Christ imparted into you through the Holy Spirit, so that you have an additional element within you that is bright, holy, and good. Once this element enters into man, man has a dispositional transformation.
Formerly you were irritable and unforgiving, but now you yield to others in everything and are willing to be wronged. Being a Christian, however, is not a matter of cultivating oneself in order to eliminate the “sour taste” in one’s life. Even though we Christians have the element of Christ within us, our “sourness” is still here. The difference is that although our “sourness” is still here, something “sweet” has also been added into us. What is a Christian? A Christian is one who has Christ mingled with him. Previously you were an irritable person, but now Christ’s meekness swallows up your irritability. This is not the result of your improvement, your cultivation, or your exercise, but it is Christ’s life entering into your life, Christ’s nature entering into your nature, Christ’s personality entering into your personality, and Christ Himself entering into you to be mingled with you. Once Christ is mingled with you, He will swallow you up. You have no way to swallow Him up, because He is strong and you are weak, He is great and you are small. Therefore, you are changed in nature. Darkness is changed to light, irritability is changed to gentleness, rebelliousness is changed to submission, cruelty is changed to love, and filthiness is changed to holiness.
For this reason we have to spend much time to pray that the Lord will grant us the light to see that God’s eternal purpose is that He intends to mingle Himself with us. Only when we see this will we know what it is to be spiritual and what it is to make spiritual progress. Only when we see this will we know what the Lord really wants to accomplish in man. What God wants to accomplish in man is this mingling. Apart from this, regardless of what we do, God will not be satisfied. He not only will not be satisfied, but instead He will be sorrowful and will grieve until we see that His eternal purpose is to mingle Himself with man. Only then will He find satisfaction and rest, and only then will He truly gain something within us.
We all have to pray and ask the Lord to show us His eternal purpose and His mingling of Himself with us. Although we may have heard such a word, inwardly we still may not have the vision, the inspiration, and the revelation, and we still may not be able to see. Hence, we have to pray and ask the Lord to show us this spiritual vision related to His heart’s desire. We have to ask the Lord to unveil us that we may know that what He is after within us is not our love, our faith, our zeal, or our good behavior. Rather, what He is after and what satisfies Him is to mingle Himself with us.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)