THE ASCENDED GOD-MAN AS THE HEAD IN HIS ASCENSION
In His ascension, the Lord Jesus as the ascended God-man, as the Head, poured out the Holy Spirit as the ultimate consummation of the Triune God, the realization and reality of Him as the Head, upon all His believers throughout all the ages and among all the nations (Acts 2:1-4, 33) and baptized them once for all into one Body, the church (1 Cor. 12:13a). Hence, on the day of Pentecost, the Body of Christ, the church, was brought into being through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
THE CHURCH BEING GIVEN TO DRINK OF HIM AS THE SPIRIT AND BECOMING ONE SPIRIT WITH HIM
When the church, which is composed of all the saved ones throughout all the ages and among all the nations, was baptized by this one Spirit into one Body, she was at the same time made to drink of this one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13b). Whenever we call “O Lord Jesus,” we are drinking of this Holy Spirit. If we call daily and hourly, we will drink of this Spirit daily and hourly. We call on the Lord, but we receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the name, and the Holy Spirit is the person. When we call on the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes, and we drink of this Spirit. This is not all. We also become one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). In this way, we can enjoy this all-inclusive Spirit as the life supply (Phil. 1:19). When we rise up in the morning, if we do not call on the Lord and drink of the Holy Spirit to the full, we will be empty, weak, and impotent throughout the day. But if we call on the Lord and drink of the Holy Spirit as soon as we rise up, we will surely be full of the Spirit and supplied with life to be full of strength the whole day long. Furthermore, we will receive the gifts from Him to function as the members of His Body (Rom. 12:4-8). All the members of the Body of Christ will receive gifts through the supply of life and will manifest their functions. This is the church.
Hebrews 8:1-2 and 9:11-12 tell us that after Christ ascended, He passed through the greater and more perfect tabernacle and became a Minister of the holy places. First, He poured out the all-inclusive Spirit to produce the church. Second, in His position of ascension, He gave gifts to the church. Third, He ministers the life supply from heaven into the believers that they may receive the enjoyment to function as members. Fourth, as our High Priest, He cares for us, takes care of our needs, and makes supplication for us that we may experience Him and receive the heavenly supply to live the heavenly life.
THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST BEING EXPRESSED AS THE LOCAL CHURCHES IN ALL THE LOCALITIES TO BE THE GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS SHINING FORTH CHRIST
If there is a group of believers in a place who have the life of God and always call on the Lord, drink of the Holy Spirit, and enjoy the heavenly supply, and who subsequently receive gifts to function, they are the church as a golden lampstand shining forth Christ. The golden lampstands are the churches in the various localities showing forth the testimony of Christ. On the one hand, these churches in the various localities are administered locally in their administrative affairs. For example, it is up to the church in Seoul to decide where and how they should meet as the church in Seoul. In the same way, it is up to the church in Ichon to decide where and how the church in Ichon should meet. Every church has its particular condition and needs; no two places are the same. Concerning these administrative matters, there is no uniformity; every place is administered locally. On the other hand, in life, nature, and testimony, there is the unique Body in the universe (Eph. 4:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:12). This is why the seven golden lampstands in Revelation 1:11-12, 20b are the same in nature and shape. They are all lampstands made of pure gold. Moreover, the testimony they bear and the light they shine forth are all the same. There is no distinction among them. Whether in nature, function, or testimony, the church in each locality and all the churches on the whole earth should be the same. Furthermore, in this dark age the church has the sevenfold intensified Spirit of Christ for the intensification of the shining of the golden lampstands (Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 5:6). At the time when John was writing the book of Revelation, the churches had degraded, and the age had become dark. This is why God’s move and work on earth required the sevenfold intensified Spirit of God. The situation is the same today. Therefore, we all need to be filled with this sevenfold intensified Spirit, that the shining of the golden lampstands would become brighter and brighter.
(The Economy of God and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)