Today there is much talk about independence. It seems that in the twentieth century everybody wants to be independent. Actually, no one is independent. We are either a dependent of Satan or a dependent of Christ. We can never be independent. If we are independent of Christ, we are then dependent on Satan. Hallelujah, through regeneration we have become dependents of Christ! Now we are all part of Christ’s increase.
We see the story of the serpent and the bride not only in the Gospels, but also in Paul’s Epistles. Second Corinthians 11:2 and 3 say, “For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband, to present a pure virgin to Christ; but I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts should be corrupted from the singleness and the purity which is toward Christ.” Paul was concerned that the serpent who had come to bite Eve would come to bite the believers at Corinth. Once again, this is the story of the serpent and the bride.
THE FINAL WORD CONCERNING THE SERPENT AND THE BRIDE
This story continues until we come to the end of the Bible. In the book of Revelation we have the final word concerning the serpent and the bride. In chapter nineteen we see that the bride is ready for the wedding of the Lamb (v. 7). Immediately after the wedding, this universal couple will fight against Satan and his followers, the beast and the false prophet. Then Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss, where he will be imprisoned for a thousand years. Following that, Satan will rebel once more and ultimately will be cast into the lake of fire. Then the universe will be thoroughly cleared up, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. For eternity there will be a universal couple: Christ as the Husband and the church as His bride.
THE WAY TO ENTER THE TABERNACLE
According to the book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb, is also the tabernacle (Rev. 21:2-3). The subject of all these messages is the fulfillment of the tabernacle and the offerings in the writings of John. Actually, I am not speaking in this message about the serpent and the bride. Instead, I am speaking about the fulfillment of the tabernacle and the offerings in John’s writings. What is the way to enter into the tabernacle? The way is by taking Christ as the brass serpent. This is the sin offering, and the sin offering is the basic offering for us to be equipped and qualified to enter into the tabernacle.
We have pointed out in a foregoing message that we enter the tabernacle by becoming the tabernacle. This means that we ourselves actually are the tabernacle we are entering. If we do not become the tabernacle, we shall not be able to enter into the tabernacle. But how can we become the tabernacle? We become the tabernacle by taking Christ as the brass serpent. This is to take Christ as the offerings and to enjoy Him as the offerings.
We have seen that the Lamb of God in John 1:29 is the totality of all the offerings. We have also seen that the brass serpent in 3:14 is the Lamb of God. Therefore, the brass serpent also is the totality of the offerings. When we take this brass serpent we take all the offerings in order that we may become the tabernacle. Then by becoming the tabernacle we are in the tabernacle.
We should not think that the apostles will enter into the New Jerusalem. No, they will all be parts of the New Jerusalem. This is proved by the fact that the twelve apostles will be the twelve foundations of the city of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:14). This indicates that the apostles are parts of the New Jerusalem. In like manner, we all shall be parts of the New Jerusalem, God’s tabernacle.
Do you know how we may enter the church today? We enter the church by becoming the church. If you are not a part of the church, you cannot enter the church. Now we all are in the church. Suppose we could all be taken away somewhere. Then there would not be a church into which some others might enter. The vital point here is that we enter the church by being the church. Likewise, we enter the tabernacle by being the tabernacle.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)