THE ETERNAL ECONOMY OF GOD
In this message my burden is to fellowship with you concerning the purpose of the blending. This purpose is quite mysterious. To know the purpose of the blending, we need to look into God’s eternal economy. Our God, the moving and acting God, made an eternal economy in Himself for Christ in eternity past (Eph. 1:9-10; 3:9-11). In this economy as a plan, an arrangement, God decided to produce an organic Body to be His organism in life for His increase and expression. To carry this out, God Himself had to become a man that man might become God. He accomplished this by the way of union and mingling. Eventually, God and man did unite together and mingle together.
We need to receive something extraordinary from His living Word. God became a man so that He could make man like Himself in life and in nature, but not in His Godhead (1 John 3:2). He became such a man and lived on this earth for thirty-three and a half years to pass through and experience human life in order to set up a model of what a God-man is. After such a living, He went to the cross and accomplished an all-inclusive death, in which we were redeemed (Heb. 9:12). Then He entered into resurrection. In this resurrection He brought the redeemed man into God. When He was incarnated, He brought God into man. When He was resurrected, He brought the God-created, fallen, and then redeemed man into God, thus uplifting the redeemed man. He also brought His humanity in resurrection into divinity. In this way, the Bible tells us, He was born to be God’s firstborn Son (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; 8:29). Resurrection was a birth to Him. Before His incarnation He was God’s only begotten Son with divinity but with no humanity. In resurrection His humanity was uplifted into His divinity, and He was born in His humanity to be God’s firstborn Son. This firstborn Son of God is both divine and human.
Not only so, in His resurrection He caused all His redeemed ones to resurrect together with Him. The Bible tells us that we all were crucified with Him and resurrected with Him and in Him (2 Cor. 5:14; Gal. 2:20a; Eph. 2:6). Thus, resurrection was a great delivery in which God’s firstborn Son and the millions of God’s many sons were delivered in one birth. First Peter 1:3 tells us that we were all regenerated in the resurrection of Christ. When Christ resurrected with humanity, He was born to be God’s firstborn Son. At the same time we, the God-chosen and Christ-redeemed people, were all born with Him in that resurrection to be God’s many sons.
Furthermore, in resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit. First Corinthians 15:45 says, “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” This last Adam was Christ as the last one of Adam’s descendants. He became the life-giving Spirit that He might enter into those redeemed by Christ and regenerate them to make them the children of God (John 3:6; 1:12-13). This is the very intention of God’s economy.
THE LOCAL CHURCHES
In addition to this, God desires to build all these regenerated children of God together as one in Christ. Thus, these dear ones should not be individual, separated, and scattered, but should be gathered together in their localities to be the local churches (Rev. 1:11).
We may think that the local churches are the goal of God’s economy. However, they are not the goal, but the procedure God takes to reach the goal of His economy. We should not forget that the local churches are not God’s goal. Many of those who have been brought into the recovery love the local church to the uttermost, and they stress the local church very much. However, we should not think that when we enter into the local church life we reach the goal of God’s eternal economy. No, we are still far away from God’s goal. Since the time of Brother Nee the local churches have become a very precious item in our Christian life. Some of the saints may be disappointed when they hear that the local churches are not God’s goal. Nevertheless, if we are just in the local churches and do not go on, we are far off from God’s goal.
According to Ephesians 1:22-23, the goal of God’s economy is the church, which is Christ’s Body. Some may say that since the church is the Body of Christ and since we are in the church, we should also be in the Body. They are right doctrinally, but not practically. We may speak much about the Body of Christ, but if we are asked what the Body of Christ is, we may be able to answer only that the Body of Christ is the church. We are in the church; that is a fact. But where is the reality of the Body of Christ? We have the term the Body of Christ and we have the doctrine of the Body of Christ, but where is the practicality and reality of the Body of Christ? Have you ever touched the practicality of the Body of Christ? Have you ever been in the reality of the Body of Christ?
We all need to consider this matter. We have the term and we have the doctrine, but practically, we do not have the reality. The purpose of the blending is to usher us all into the reality of the Body of Christ. I treasure the local churches, as you do. But I treasure the local churches because of a purpose. The local churches are the procedure to bring me into the Body of Christ. The churches are the Body, but the churches may not have the reality of the Body of Christ. Thus, we need to be in the local churches so that we can be ushered, or brought, into the reality of the Body of Christ.
(Practical Points Concerning Blending, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)