The Vision of God's Building, by Witness Lee


Next we see that in this city there is a center, the throne of God. It is the throne of God in Christ (Rev. 22:3). God is in Christ, for Christ is portrayed as the lamp containing God as the light (Rev. 21:23). The city of the New Jerusalem is like a lampstand, holding Christ as the lamp with God as the light. Thus, since God is in Christ on the throne, there is only one throne. God in Christ and with Christ sits on the throne in the city, and this throne is the center of the city.

In the church life today there must also be a center. That center is the throne of God, from which God in Christ exercises His authority in the church. The entire church must be under the authority of God in Christ. Here we see the matter of headship. Christ with God is the Head. In the church we must always be careful never to exercise our authority. We must all learn to give place to God, the real authority in the church. We must learn to subject ourselves to the headship of God in Christ.


The seventh major point is that the headship of God in Christ is the very light. Wherever God is in authority, there is also light. On the other hand, wherever there is confusion, there is darkness. When God’s authority is exercised in a local church, that church will be full of the divine light. If God is not on the throne, if He is not in authority, He cannot shine, and there will be no light. If we all give place to God in Christ that He may exercise His authority, if we all are willing to subject ourselves to Him, everything in our midst will be full of light. Even in our personal lives, when we admit the headship of Christ and subject ourselves to Him, He brings us into light. Rebellion puts us into darkness, but subjection brings us into the light.


The eighth point is that this city is one large, universal lampstand. In the opening chapters of Revelation there are seven lampstands in seven localities. But at the end of this book, there is one immense lampstand in the entire universe. The New Jerusalem is a city of gold, as a mountain rising up (Rev. 21:18). On the top of this mountain city is the throne of God. God on His throne is the light in the Lamb, who is the lamp (Rev. 21:23). Hence, the entire city is a golden lampstand.

The local church must be such a lampstand. When God in Christ is on the throne in a local church, when He is exercising His authority and shining, that church becomes a lampstand. In eternity there will be only one universal church, but today there are many local churches. Therefore, we see seven lampstands in Revelation, depicting the church in history, in time. In eternity we will see only one large lampstand, the New Jerusalem.


The ninth point is that from the throne there issues the flow of the water of life (Rev. 22:1). If anything flows out of God, it must be something of God Himself; hence, this flow is God Himself, flowing out as life. In the church, when God is allowed to exercise His headship in Christ and thus shine as the light, He spontaneously flows out to us as life. Whenever anyone enters into such a church life, he immediately senses this flow of life. There is a sense of being watered rather than any sense of dryness. Such a flow of life depends upon the throne being set up in the church. God’s authority must be exercised that the light of God may shine and that the life may flow.


The tenth point is that in this flow there is the tree of life bearing rich fruits (Rev. 22:2). This tree is the life supply, the food for life. In the church, whenever there is the flow of life, the complete supply of God as our spiritual food will come to us in that flow. Whenever we attend a meeting, whether it is a prayer meeting, a meeting for the Lord’s table, or a fellowship meeting, we will partake of some fruit of the tree of life. In every meeting there will be something upon which we may feed.

(The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)