The Two Great Mysteries in God's Economy, by Witness Lee


We also have the word economy in 1 Timothy 1:4. There it says that some kinds of teachings stir up questions rather than God’s economy, which is an economy to dispense God into His chosen people. The Apostle Paul warned us in these two books that among so-called Christians there are many other teachings. He even charged Timothy, his young co-worker, to take care that some not teach differently. To teach differently does not mean to teach a wrong doctrine, or to teach heresies, but just to teach things different from what we have been taught concerning the economy of God.

If we read 1 Timothy, we can see clearly that these things include the law of Moses. Some taught the law, and some taught the genealogy which is the history of the Old Testament. The law of Moses is in the Bible as well as the history. Both are in the holy oracle and are not wrong. The law of Moses is built upon three columns, three pillars. One is circumcision, the second is the Sabbath, and the third is the levitical diet. As a young male of the race of Israel you must be circumcised on the eighth day and this is once for your whole life. Then, after this, every seventh day you must keep one day as the Sabbath. Not only so, every day you have to keep the holy diet three times. These are all in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament these three pillars have all been removed. First, the Lord Jesus removed the pillar of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-8). Second, Paul was so bold to remove the pillar of circumcision (Gal. 5:6; 6:15). Finally, the pillar of the holy diet was removed in Acts 10. All these things are in the Bible, but they are not the kernel.

The kernel of the Bible is this: the mystery of the universe is God, the mystery of God is Christ, and the mystery of Christ is the church. This God is triune, dispensing Himself into our being that we may become members of the Body of Christ, which is the church; and we are tripartite, having a human spirit as a receiver to receive the Triune God. Day after day and morning and evening, we can drink of Him for the church life. Paul charged Timothy to take care of some and tell them that they should not teach differently, but speak the same thing. The same thing is Christ and the church, the mysteries of God’s economy.

We can find different teachings other than God’s economy in the Bible, even in 1 and 2 Timothy. Many other doctrines such as the seventy weeks with the seven last years in Daniel can raise question after question. Then we will argue and be snared. This is the very reason many Christians are divided.

What is the Lord’s recovery? The Lord’s recovery is to bring us back to the beginning, to a beginning without any questions, and to a beginning without any division. At the very beginning all the apostles spoke the same thing. Peter, John, and Paul all spoke the same thing. We must be recovered back to the beginning to speak the same thing which is Christ and the church. We care for Christ and the church. We care for our daily and hourly drinking of the one Spirit. We care for a living testimony to our in-laws, our cousins, our neighbors, our classmates, our schoolmates, and our colleagues. We care for the complete gospel of God to be preached to the sinners, for the proper church life, and for taking Christ as our life and person. We care for these kinds of things. We do not care for the ten horns in Revelation or the ten toes in Daniel. These are in the Bible, but we do not care for them because they are not the kernel of the Bible. We only care for Christ and the church as the mysteries of God’s economy.

In the first chapter of this book, Paul urged Timothy to charge some not to teach differently (1 Tim. 1:3). He said that some have missed the goal, misaimed (1 Tim. 1:6). What is the goal? The goal is the church. We may say that the goal is Christ, the goal is the church, and the goal is the New Jerusalem. This is altogether the same thing. We are in the central lane, driving the car toward the goal, but there are many distractions. Some have missed the goal, thinking that they are teachers who can teach people this doctrine and that doctrine. Paul charges us not to care for these kinds of doctrines but always to be preserved in the central lane. The central lane is the mystery of God and the mystery of Christ. The central lane is Christ and the church. The central lane is that the Triune God today is altogether the compound Spirit, that we have a regenerated spirit mingled with the divine Spirit, and that we can enjoy Him in our spirit as our everything to have a practical, present church life. Only such a clear vision can preserve us all the time in the central lane.

(The Two Great Mysteries in God's Economy, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)