THE DESTRUCTION OF GOD’S EXPRESSION
God’s enemy, Satan, hates this expression. In the Old Testament not too long after God had reached His goal to have such an expression, the completion of the building up of the temple, the enemy of God came in to ruin God’s people from within. When the temple was completed the glory of God came down and overshadowed the temple and filled the temple. That glory was the expression of God. God is invisible and hidden. Once He is expressed, that is glory. The temple signifies the aggregate, the collection, of all God’s children as His dwelling place. God was manifested in glory in His dwelling place, but they were corrupted by Satan in their morality and behavior. They became ruined and so sinful that God had no ground to dwell there. So God left the temple. Then the Babylonian army came to destroy the temple and to bring all the utensils into captivity. Even most of the people were carried into captivity. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, put the utensils into the temple of his idols. This means that the expression of God was destroyed. So there was the need of the recovery.
The same thing happened in the New Testament. As we mentioned previously, the things in the Old Testament were a model, and the real things are in the New Testament. In the New Testament you have first of all an individual, Jesus Christ, who was God becoming a man to tabernacle among men. He was one individual as God’s expression, the tabernacle. Through His death and resurrection He was increased. He was the one grain which fell into the ground and died and brought forth much fruit (John 12:24). So on the day of Pentecost, the church was there as the enlarged tabernacle. Now God’s expression was not by one individual, but by a corporate body. After a short time, even while both and Peter and Paul were still living, the church was ruined from within. The glory of God left the church. Satan destroyed the church and brought the church into captivity, to Babylon again. In the New Testament at the very end you have Babylon the Great. In the eyes of God Christendom is Babylon, to which the church has been carried away. The church became a captive. So there is the need of the recovery.
THE EXPRESSION OF GOD BY LIFE
God created man in His own image with the intention that man might express Him by the way of life. A photograph of a person cannot express a person fully because it does not have life. It does not have the faculty to think or to speak or to do something. A photograph needs life. It needs a person to get into that photograph to enliven it. In the Bible there is such a divine thought that God wants to be man’s food and man’s drink to enable man to partake of God as life. Right after the creation of man, God brought man to the tree of life, indicating that man should eat of the tree of life. That same tree of life is at the very end of the Bible. In Revelation 22:1 the river flows out of the throne of God. On the two sides of the river the tree of life grows. So the tree of life is something coming out of the Triune God to be our life and life supply.
In Exodus the children of Israel ate the meat of the lamb which had redeemed them. They struck the blood for redemption, and then they ate the meat. They also ate the unleavened bread. Both the meat of the lamb and the unleavened bread are types of Christ. This means that they ate Christ. By eating Christ, Christ entered into them. In the wilderness they ate manna every day. Manna was also a type of Christ. They also drank the living water out of the cleft rock. The living water was just the overflow of Christ. So they ate Christ and they drank Christ, and Christ got into them.
Furthermore, the children of Israel offered offerings. The meal offering and the peace offering were food for God and food for the serving ones (Lev. 2:1-3). The peace offering was food for all the clean ones (Lev. 7). These items: the lamb, the manna, the living water, and all the offerings clearly tell us that God wants His people to eat Him, to receive Him into them to become their life and life supply. So in the New Testament when the Lord Jesus came, He indicated that He was food for us to eat. He was the heavenly manna. He was the bread of life (John 6:35). He was the living bread (John 6:51). In John 6:57 the Lord Jesus said, "He who eats Me shall also live because of Me."
In the next chapter, John 7, the Lord Jesus cried, "I anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink." All these verses indicate that Christ is our life and our life supply. Then in the very last book of the New Testament, Revelation, the Lord Jesus promised that the overcomers would eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7) and of the hidden manna (Rev. 2:17). By these verses you can see that God. wants to get into us. It is by this that God becomes our life and we become enlivened people instead of lifeless pictures. Christ within us is not only our Savior and Master and Lord, but also our life. The Lord came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Hallelujah! I have His life abundantly! I am full of Christ; I am full of life.
This wonderful indwelling life unites us. Because we have the Lord Jesus within us as our life, something leaps within us when we meet one another. Although we may not understand another brother’s language, something leaps within us because of the life. We have life within us, and this life unites us.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)