OUR NEED TO EXPERIENCE ALL THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEATH PROCESS
Because we are not willing to die, God in His sovereignty prepares everyone and everything necessary to bring us into death. He may prepare a “Judas” to betray you and a good-hearted “Peter,” who may think that he is helping you by defending you. We know that Peter only caused trouble for the Lord Jesus by cutting off the ear of the slave of the high priest. One of the other Gospels records the fact that it was necessary for the Lord to heal the slave’s ear. The “Peters” who think they are helping us may actually be used to bring us into death. God has a way to do this.
Some of us had the concept that if we loved the Lord and took His way in the recovery, everything related to us would be flourishing. We expected to have a good wife or husband and children who were obedient and would eventually become successful in their professions. However, many of us can testify that the more we love the Lord and take His way, the more troubles we have. The Lord may prepare someone to betray us and others, like the high priest, to reject us. There may even be a “Pilate” who will deliver us to those who intend to crucify us. All these things are prepared by God and make it possible for us to go through the process of death. Therefore, instead of a good environment, the situation may be the exact opposite of what we expected.
The reason for this is that everything works together to help us go through the death process. According to Romans 8:28, God causes all things to work together for good. But they work together according to God’s understanding of matters, not according to our own understanding. When we quote Romans 8:28, we should not forget the context of this chapter. This chapter speaks of suffering upon suffering. Nevertheless, God causes all things to work together for good in that we are prepared to pass through the process of death.
Apparently, after the Lord Jesus came to the garden, nothing was good. Actually, everything was good, because everything was a preparation for the death process. Within a short period of time after coming to the garden, He entered into that process. Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s resistance, the high priest’s rejection, and Pilate’s judgment were all helpful in this regard. All these things contributed to the process by which the Lord Jesus entered into death. But He was ready for this, for He was ready to be sown as a grain of wheat so that through death and resurrection He might be multiplied.
My burden in these messages on chapter eighteen is to point out that according to the emphasis in the Gospel of John, the Lord’s death was mainly for multiplication. Now this multiplication should continue with us. As the many grains produced by the one grain, we are the branches of the vine to bear fruit for the glorification of the Father. Our fruit-bearing is the continuation of the multiplication, of the divine glorification. This fruit-bearing cannot be prevailing unless we are willing to pass through the death process.
In nature we see that in order to bear fruit many kinds of trees must pass through the “winter” of death. With us, if there is no death, there will be no fruit-bearing. First there must be death, and then resurrection will follow. In resurrection we have fruit-bearing.
The only way for the Lord to have His increase today is for us to be willing, as He was, to experience all the preparations for the death process. We should thank the Lord that with us also there is the necessary preparation. There may be a Judas, a Peter, religion’s opposition and rejection, and a trial before the rulers. All these preparations form a process of death for us to go through. If we go through this process, the Lord’s multiplication, His glorification, will continue. This multiplication, this glorification, this increase, will be repeated again and again through the process of death. This is the Lord’s death for reproduction, for multiplication, which is His glorification.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 56, by Witness Lee)