THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Now we come to the harvest in Revelation. The seed is in Matthew, its growth is in the Epistles, and the harvest is in Revelation. The picture of the city presented in Revelation 21 and 22 is very clear. That city is not built of clay or bricks. All the cities constructed by the enemy as counterfeit buildings were made of bricks. The tower of Babel was built with bricks (Gen. 11:3), as were also the two cities of Pharaoh built by the enslaved Israelites (Exo. 1:11, 14). Bricks are composed of mud plus human work. God never builds this way. His building is composed of gold, pearls, and precious stones. It has nothing of mud and the work of human hands. God’s building is marvelous in our eyes because it is altogether His doing. No man can manufacture the materials for God’s building. Gold, pearls, and precious stones are produced by God Himself. Every part of the New Jerusalem has been transformed. At the center of this city is the throne of God (Rev. 22:1, 3), indicating the kingdom. The throne signifies the ruling authority. The ruling and reigning of God are there. Out of the throne proceeds a river of life that waters the entire city, and within the river of life grows the tree of life that feeds the city (Rev. 22:1-2). This is a picture signifying that watering and feeding produce growth, transformation, and building. This is the harvest of the seed sown in Matthew.
We do not have to wait until the future to enjoy feeding, watering, growing, transformation, and building. We in the Lord’s recovery of the churches are qualified and privileged to have a foretaste now. Of course, we do not yet have the full taste, but the foretaste indicates that the full taste is coming. The sisters have a foretaste of a meal in the kitchen before putting it on the table. The foretaste is indicative of the full taste. Actually, the foretaste of a meal is exactly the same as the full taste, but on a smaller scale. The foretaste cannot be salty and the full taste sweet. The full taste which will be in the New Jerusalem is what we enjoy in the local churches today as the foretaste.
The full taste includes the river of life, the tree of life, growth, transformation, and building. What about Bible knowledge and gifts? They are not to be found in the New Jerusalem. In the New Jerusalem we can see the river of life and the tree of life. We see growth, transformation, and building. We see a city constructed with gold, pearls, and precious stones. This is all we can see. Since these are the items of the full taste, we should not add other things to the foretaste. Rather, we should enjoy these items of the foretaste. Revelation 21 and 22 show us a complete picture of the kingdom as our full taste.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)