A CONCLUDING WORD
We must very clearly see the divinity and humanity of Christ to be able to understand the mystery of the Divine Trinity. In conclusion, God is three, having three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—yet He is surely one, being the one God. When we receive any one of the three, we receive all of Them. When we have the Son, we also have the Father and the Spirit; when we have the Spirit, we also have the Father and the Son. Therefore, when the Spirit comes, the consummation of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit comes; the all-inclusive Spirit comes. As such a Spirit, Christ fills all and includes all. And as the Spirit, Christ comes into us to be our enjoyment.
Here I would like to refer to two hymns. The first one is Hymns, #113, a hymn on praising the Lord as our Redeemer. The climax of this hymn is in stanza 5:
Though angels praise the heavenly King,
And worship Him as God alone,
We can with exultation sing,
“He wears our nature on the throne.”
Another hymn is #132, which is also on praising the Lord for His humanity. This hymn is full of life, full of the Spirit, and full of experience. Stanza 1 says,
Lo! in heaven Jesus sitting,
Christ the Lord is there enthroned;
As the man by God exalted,
With God’s glory He is crowned.
Then stanzas 4 through 6 deal with life, the Spirit, and experience:
He as God with man is mingled,
God in man is testified;
He as man with God is blended,
Man in God is glorified.
From the Glorified in heaven
The inclusive Spirit came;
All of Jesus’ work and Person
Doth this Spirit here proclaim.
With the Glorified in heaven
Is the Church identified;
By the Spirit of this Jesus
Are His members edified.
The hymn reaches its climax in stanza 7:
Lo! a man is now in heaven
As the Lord of all enthroned;
This is Jesus Christ our Savior,
With God’s glory ever crowned!
Nearly none of the eighteen points which we have mentioned above was written as a hymn. There are over ten thousand hymns in Christianity, but they do not cover these points. Instead, most of them are concerning God’s compassion, God’s holiness, God’s righteousness, God’s power, and even superficial items such as miracles and wonders. Yes, the creeds mention Christ’s being born as a man to save sinners. If we carefully study the New Testament, we will see that Christ became flesh not only to save sinners but, even more, to carry out God’s eternal economy, which is to work God into men that they may become children of God to be the Body of Christ for the expression of the Triune God in eternity. This is the highest goal of God’s becoming flesh.
Most of the matters preached in Christianity today are very shallow. We do not deny that the things preached are right, that Christ became flesh to die and shed His blood to save sinners; this, however, is not the ultimate purpose. The ultimate goal of God’s becoming flesh is to dispense Himself into man that man may be one with Him in life and nature and be joined and mingled with Him as one to be His corporate expression. This is our commission today in the Lord’s recovery. Therefore, when we lead you to go out to knock on doors, we do not preach the low gospel but preach the meaning of human life instead. The meaning of human life is that man needs to have God within him. This includes God’s becoming flesh and passing through death and resurrection before He can come into man. Of course, because man is sinful, He had to make redemption for man; this is right. But redemption is not the goal; it is the procedure for reaching the goal, and the goal is that God wants to enter into man to dispense Himself as man’s life and nature that man may be joined to Him to be a part of His organism for His corporate expression. This is what we must see and practice.
This is the gospel. I hope that this is what you preach when you go out to preach the gospel. Do not think that people cannot understand; they surely can understand. I often say that actually it is not that people cannot understand, but rather it is that you yourself do not understand and therefore you do not know how to preach, and you cannot preach. I hope that you will all rise up to speak the high gospel, preach the great word, and announce the eternal mystery. You need to preach this as the gospel.
Furthermore, I also hope that the young people will rise up and learn to write hymns with all the above crucial items. For many years I have been wanting to re-compile our hymnal, because some of the hymns are truly not suitable and we do not sing them anymore. The melody and poetry of Hymns, #113 are very good but most of the content is too low; therefore, we rarely sing it. I hope that this kind of hymn would be eliminated and replaced by hymns of higher quality. In the compilation of the hymnal, my understanding is that Brother Nee’s selection was based on three points: first, general Christian hymns on the knowledge of God; second, hymns by the inner life people on the experience of the cross and the growth in life; and third, hymns by the Brethren with words of praise. In 1960 I felt that there was a great lack in our hymnal concerning the Spirit and the riches in life as well as concerning Christ and the church. Therefore, I wrote over eighty hymns within two months, most of which are on the Spirit, life, Christ, and the church. Then when I was compiling the English hymnal twenty-five years ago in America, I added nearly two hundred more hymns in these categories. Due to lack of time, however, I did not include the crucial items mentioned above. I hope that the young people will gradually rise up and make an effort to learn how to write hymns and to compile a new hymnal.
I am very happy that in the last ten years, and in particular the last five years, wherever I went to attend the Lord’s table meeting, I observed that the brothers and sisters’ understanding has been uplifted. Most of the hymns they sang are concerning God’s dispensing Himself into us, Christ as our life, and the church as His expression. Fifty years ago our favorite hymn was: “How pleasant is the sound of praise! / It well becomes the saints of God; / Should we refuse our songs to raise, / The stones might tell our shame abroad” (Hymns, #113). But now we do not select it any longer because its content is low. If I were to show you the hymns that I wrote sixty years ago, you would all feel that they are shallow. However, with my growth in life and my increase in the knowledge of the spiritual truths, hymns that are crystals came out. Poems and songs are the crystallization of our learning and our knowledge of God. I hope that you will learn more and be more equipped, especially concerning the eighteen points covered in this chapter. Then gradually you will be able to write some hymns of high quality. This is a need in the Lord’s recovery.
(The Revelation and Vision of God, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)