GOD’S EXPRESSION IN GENESIS
This expression began with individuals in the Old Testament. The expression first began with Adam, but Adam fell. Then Abel was raised up to express God. To some extent Abel was successful in expressing God. Then Enosh called upon the name of the Eternal One Who was and Who is and Who is to be—the great I Am, the great To Be. Then came Enoch who walked with God. Later Noah came on to the scene, not just to walk with God, but also to work with God and to have a common interest with God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob depict one complete person with Joseph as an annex to Jacob. In these four persons as a complete being, God was very much manifested. But these were just individuals, and God wants a corporate expression.
THROUGH A COLLECTIVE PEOPLE
In Exodus God came in to save His chosen people, a collective people. He saved, not one or two persons, but several million people. He delivered a collective people out of the tyranny of Pharaoh in Egypt. They were brought first to Mount Sinai to receive the revelation of the building of a tabernacle, so that the very God in the heavens could come down to dwell and to express Himself in a material dwelling place. From Exodus through Malachi is a history of this dwelling place of God. On the surface you may say that is the history of Israel. Actually that is the history of God’s dwelling place. The Old Testament is so simple and clear. It had nine great men as landmarks of the human race and a people raised up to build a dwelling place for God on the earth for His expression. The entire universe was created by God with man as the center to express the eternal God. Yet what was revealed in the Old Testament was only the model. That was not the real structure.
The reality came in the New Testament, but it was the same in principle. First, an individual came who was unique. This was God Himself becoming a man, Jesus Christ. On the one hand, He is nothing less than God. He is our Creator. On the other hand, He is a man because He took our nature, our blood and flesh, upon Himself. He became incarnated in the flesh to be a real man. He is both God and man.
This wonderful One lived on the earth for thirty-three and a half years. What did He do? You might say that He did a lot of miracles and gave a lot of teachings. That is right but it is a kind of apprehension on the surface. If you get into the depth of the matter, you could see that He was expressing God. His entire life and His entire living on this earth was the very expression of God. No man has ever seen God, but this One declared God (John 1:18). This One is the effulgence of the divine glory, and this One is the express image of the divine substance (Heb. 1:3). How wonderful!
On one occasion three disciples went to the mountain with Him where they saw His glory (Luke 9:28-32). One of these three later wrote the Gospel of John and said, "We beheld His glory" (John 1:14). Whether He was doing some miracle, or whether He was teaching, He was the expression of the invisible God.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)