IV. JOHN BEING A PATTERN FOR US
John is another pattern for us. You may say that John did not seem to have accomplished much in the gospels and in Acts. That is true. But he was always there, and he was there faithfully. He was there with the Lord during His earthly ministry for three-and-half years. When the Lord was arrested and judged, Peter denied the Lord three times and left (Matt. 26:75), yet John stayed there (John 18:15-16). When the Lord was crucified, the other disciples were not seen around the cross, yet John was still there (John 19:16). After hearing the news of the Lord’s resurrection, John arrived at the Lord’s grave first (John 20:4). John was present at the first meetings to receive the breathing and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He was also with Peter at the conversion of the 3,000 and 5,000 souls. He was there faithfully in everything that the Lord was doing to build up the Body of Christ. He was not taking the lead, yet he was one with and in full support of Peter, who at that time was taking the lead. He had a clear vision of Christ and the church. He saw the need of oneness (John 17) and kept the oneness of the Spirit.
The Lord preserved him until all the original disciples passed away. He was faithful until the end, even during his exile on the island of Patmos. Then the Lord showed only him the last revelation—the New Jerusalem, the ultimate consummation of the mingling of Christ and the built-up church. John is definitely a pattern for us to follow for the building up of the church.
V. BEING FAITHFUL TO THE END FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE CHURCH
Have you seen the vision of Christ and the church? Peter, Paul and John saw the vision in their spirit. All you have to do is pray with the Word in spirit and fellowship with your companions. Eventually, you will see the same vision they saw. Based upon the vision of Christ and the church you will receive a commission from the Lord to preach the Word, to bring new members into the Body of Christ, to nourish them in life, to teach them the truth, and to build them up into the church. Together, you will raise up many local churches on the earth to bring the Lord back.
Seeing the vision and receiving a commission is still not enough. You need to be obedient to the heavenly vision, and you need to be faithful to carry out the commission. Peter, Paul and John will receive a reward, and so will you. Do not put them on a pedestal and down-grade yourself. They are our elder brothers. They had the same problems that we have. They also had the same spirit we have. Whatever they had we have. We must be faithful as they were. Hallelujah! One day, we will all line up together to receive a reward having been faithful in enjoying Christ for the building up of the church.
- What patterns do you find to follow in the following?
a.The Lord Jesus, b. Peter, c. Paul, d. John.
- Have you seen the vision of Christ and the Church?
- Having finished this lesson book and seeing the vision of the building up of the church, will you be obedient to the heavenly vision?
- Life Study of Acts (Lee/LSM), p. 206.
- A Young Man in God’s Plan (Lee/LSM), pp. 33, 37.
- The World Situation and God’s Move (Lee/LSM), pp. 9-18.
- A Young Man in God’s Plan (Lee/LSM), pp. 7-37.
(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)