THE ADVANCING AND ASCENDING OF THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY
From the monthly publication The Ministry of the Word you can see that we were still shallow. From 1951 to 1961, ten years went by. Then I had a burden. I sensed that our hymnal was lacking and could not match the vision that we saw, so I compiled a supplemental hymnal containing eighty-five new hymns which I wrote within two months’ time. In our hymnal, hymns such as #499, the first line of which reads, “Oh, what a life! Oh, what a peace!/The Christ who’s all within me lives,” and #501, “O glorious Christ, Savior mine, /Thou art truly radiance divine,” were written at that time. I am surprised that over thirty years ago I was able to write hymns such as #499 and #501. I am even more surprised that not too long afterward I was able to write #203, “In the bosom of the Father,/Ere the ages had begun, /Thou wast in the Father’s glory,/God’s unique begotten Son. /When to us the Father gave Thee,/Thou in person wast the same,/All the fulness of the Father/In the Spirit to proclaim.” Stanza three says that the Lord was the only grain, and then stanza four says we are His reproduction, His Body and His bride. It is surprising that over thirty years ago I could write such a hymn. What I saw then of the Lord was based on what Brother Nee had seen. What I saw then was just that much. In those eighty-five hymns my emphases were Christ, the Body of Christ, the Spirit, and life. Since then, after another period of time, the Lord’s table meeting among us turned from the old hymns to the new hymns. Formerly, in the old hymns we remembered mainly the Lord’s love, the Lord’s death, the Lord’s redemption, etc. But now in nearly every Lord’s table meeting what we select are these new hymns. Our praise to the Lord is thus uplifted and enriched.
The year 1952 was a turning point for me in the ministry of the word, and 1962 was another turning point. After that I came to the United States. At that time—may the Lord cover me with His precious blood—I became quite mature in the ministry of the word. Two months ago the church here was getting into the life-study of Hebrews as The Holy Word for Morning Revival. The life-study of Hebrews was given by me in 1975, exactly nineteen years ago. I expounded the book of Hebrews in a high and profound way and not one portion needs to be revised. This is to show you that in 1961 when I came to the United States I was already quite mature in the ministry of the word. For almost fifteen to twenty years all that I ministered was Christ, the Spirit, life, and the church. At that time I also saw the building of the Body of Christ. One of the new hymns I wrote, #840, is on the building of the Body of Christ. This hymn says, “Freed from self and Adam’s nature,/Lord, I would be built by Thee.” Today when I sing this hymn, I still sense that it is so fresh and so full of light.
After nearly twenty years, the Lord began to lead me into seeing the dispensing of the Triune God and the eternal economy of God. In the recent ten years and more, what the Lord has been continually showing me is this matter. Then it was during this year (1994), in the new year’s Chinese-speaking conference, that I saw the peak. Based on what I saw, I wrote a new hymn representing the high peak of the vision which the Lord has shown us: “What miracle! What mystery!/That God and man should blended be!/God became man to make man God,/Untraceable economy!/From His good pleasure, heart’s desire,/His highest goal attained will be.” Formerly among us we did not even have such words, but now these words have been written into a hymn.
GOD BECOMING MAN AND MAN BECOMING GOD
“God becoming man and man becoming God” is the economy of God; it is beyond the comprehension of angels and men. This is the point that I want to cover tonight. The Scriptures tell us clearly that God became a man to be our Savior and then He redeemed and regenerated us. Orthodox Christians and fundamental teachers all have seen these truths. However, they do not see that there is a line concerning the economy of God recorded in the Scriptures showing us how God became man to make man God. The Bible shows us how man can become God to have a God-man living and thus become an organism of God, which is the Body of Christ. This is something that they do not see.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)