THE DIVINE LIFE AND THE WIFE
After being created, Adam was short of two things. First, he was short of the divine life within, and second, he was short of a wife, a counterpart, to match him without. Adam was created in a complete form, but he was not completed. He needed to be completed by receiving God and by having a wife. Thus, in Genesis 2, God revealed to us that man was created completely as a vessel. However, he still needed to be completed with the divine life and with a counterpart, a helpmate, a wife. Adam needed to receive God as life into him to be filled with God. Then eventually, he would have a bride (Gen. 2:18-23).
After we have received God in Christ as life to us, and after we have realized, experienced, enjoyed, and appropriated God as life to us, what will come out eventually will be the bride of Christ. The last item of the whole Scripture is a bride (Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17). The holy city, the New Jerusalem, is the bride of the Lamb as the wife, the counterpart, of Christ. John the Baptist told us that Christ is both the Lamb (John 1:29) and the Bridegroom who will marry the bride (3:29). Today Christ is preached mostly as the redeeming Lamb, but Christ as the Bridegroom is neglected. The goal of the redemption of Christ is to have a bride.
The last item of Genesis 2 is a bride, a counterpart. We need to receive Christ, experience Christ, and be filled with Christ. Then the ultimate issue, the outcome, of this experience is that we will be built up together as a corporate bride to match Christ. The more we enjoy, experience, and realize Christ, the more we will be built up together as a corporate bride to Christ.
Our nature was earthen, but after we receive Christ as life, we have Him as a precious and excellent treasure within us. Second Corinthians 4:6-7 shows that when God shines in our hearts, Christ as the treasure comes into us, the earthen vessels. This treasure is as precious as gold. In the Scriptures, gold is a type of the divine nature of God. Now we have something of gold within us as our nature. This occurred at the time of our regeneration. By regeneration we received God as our nature.
We need to look at the picture in Genesis 2 to receive a revelation of God’s central thought. A man was created of dust, clay, and then he was placed before the tree of life. Beside the tree of life there was a river flowing, and in the flow of the river there was gold. Today if we receive Christ as our life, there will be a flow of the living water within us, and in this flow there is the nature of gold. In the flow of the river there were also bdellium (pearl), something that is bright, and onyx stone, which is precious. This means that after our regeneration, there will be transformation, conformation, and even glorification which will involve a metabolic change in our spirit, soul, and body. We were made as clay, but we will be transformed into gold, pearl, and precious stones. After we are regenerated, we have the divine nature as gold. Then the Lord continues to transform us from the human form to the divine form, from clay to something as precious as gold, pearl, and onyx stone.
We can sense that some saints are precious, as the precious stone, and so bright, as the pearl. But on the contrary, we can sense that other brothers and sisters are opaque and even in darkness. We cannot sense anything precious or weighty within them. They are like a piece of very thin paper, not like a piece of heavy stone. With them everything is superficial. This is because they have not experienced much transformation by the divine life within them.
After regeneration we have to be transformed from the natural form into the glorious form, the form of the divine life. We need to be transformed into the image of Christ from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). When we are transformed into the nature of gold, the nature of pearl, and the nature of the onyx stone, we will be precious material for the building up of the church as the Body, as the bride to Christ. First, we have to receive Christ; second, we have to be transformed by Christ, through Christ, and with Christ; and third, we have to be built up together as the Body, as a corporate bride to match Christ. This is the central thought of God. This is the center of God’s mind.
Many say that they have received a vision from the Bible or some revelation from the Scriptures, but I would ask, “What kind of revelation have you received?” One day a brother came to me with great excitement. He told me, “Brother Lee, I saw a great light in my Bible study this morning. I am a quick person. I think quickly, speak quickly, and act quickly. Everything with me is quick. So today the Lord revealed to me that I have to be slow.” This is not wrong, but this is not the central thought of God. You may say that you have seen some light about a certain truth or about certain gifts, but we need to see what God’s desire is. The central thought of the divine mind is that we, as living vessels to contain God, have to receive God in Christ and through the Spirit as life and the life supply into us; that we have to be transformed into gold, pearl, and precious stones; and that we have to be built up together as a living Body, a corporate bride with the nature, form, appearance, and essence of Christ as a living counterpart to match Christ. We must be controlled and directed by this light. This light will cause us to drop many other things which are less important, valuable, and weighty.
The apostle Paul told us that we must build the church with gold, silver, and precious stones. Silver stands for the same thing as pearl. In Genesis 2 there are gold, pearl, and precious stones (vv. 11-12). In 1 Corinthians 3 there are gold, silver, and precious stones (v. 12). Then in Revelation 21 in the last item of the Scriptures, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, there are gold, pearl, and precious stones. The city proper and the street of the city are gold (vv. 18b, 21b). All the entrances, the twelve gates, are pearls (v. 21a), and the stones for the building up of the wall are precious stones (vv. 18-20). Thus, from the beginning to the end of the Scriptures there are three kinds of materials. These materials come into being through the flowing of the current of the divine life.
After we have been built up together with others in the very flow of the divine life, we will be a part of the counterpart of Christ. We will be living, functioning members of Christ. Then Christ will be satisfied with us and we will be satisfied with Christ. This is what the Lord is after today.
(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)