THE HIGHEST PURPOSE OF GOD CONCERNING MAN
In this conference we definitely have a burden to focus on the unique, highest, deepest, most mysterious, and most glorious subject in the Holy Scriptures, that is, God’s highest purpose concerning man. God has a purpose concerning man, which is clearly revealed in the Bible. The Bible is a book concerning God, especially concerning God’s relationship with man. In God’s relationship with man we can see that God has a heart’s desire and a purpose; that is, God wants to make Himself man and to make man God that the two—God and man—may become altogether the same. God is God, yet He made Himself a man and lived a human life exactly the same as man in the human nature and the human life. On the other hand, man is man, yet God wants to make man the same as He is, of the same kind and the same likeness as He is in life and in nature, except that we human beings have no share in His person. Thus, His attributes become our human virtues and His glorious image is expressed and lived out through us. Eventually, God and man become a matching pair in the universe. This couple look like man, yet actually they are God. This is truly mysterious to the uttermost. This is God’s highest and ultimate purpose in man.
THE STEPS GOD TOOK FOR THE CARRYING OUT OF HIS HIGHEST PURPOSE
In order to accomplish His purpose, God already did three great things. The first thing is that God created man. He created man in His image and according to His likeness (Gen. 1:26). God created man not in the image of the birds nor in the image of the beasts, but in the image of God. What God created was man, but what came out was God. Today, we are not only man; we are also God. We are man yet God. Likewise, today God is not only God; He is also man. He is God yet man. As a result, both God and man, both man and God, are completely alike and become a matching couple. How wonderful this is!
When God created man, He also created man with a spirit that man may contact Him. Since God is Spirit, those who worship Him must use their spirit (John 4:24). God created man outwardly in His image, and He created man inwardly with a spirit (Gen. 2:7; Zech. 12:1) that man might contact Him. After He created man, God put man in front of the tree of life and charged man not to eat of the other tree. If man ate of the other tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the result would be death (Gen. 2:16-17). This means that God’s intention was for man to eat of the tree of life and receive God as life. Man was created in the image of God and with a spirit to receive God and contact God as man’s life. However, instead of contacting God, man took in the tree of knowledge and thus became fallen.
The second thing that God did for man is that He Himself became a man. This took place four thousand years after He created man. How did He come? He entered into the womb of a virgin and was conceived there for nine months, and then He was born as a child. The Bible says that the child who was born in the manger was the mighty God (Isa. 9:6). He came to the earth, and in His life of more than thirty years He accomplished His mission and expressed God. Then He went to die on the cross. Through His death He accomplished an eternal, perfect, and all-inclusive redemption to solve all the problems and release Himself as the Spirit of life for man to receive.
The third great thing that God did is that through His resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). As God, He became a man to accomplish redemption. In resurrection, He further became the life-giving Spirit. This One, God who became man and man who became the Spirit of God, is our Savior, our God, our Christ. Today He is the life-giving Spirit waiting to be received by us. Once we receive Him, immediately He begins His dispensing of Himself into us.
Therefore, first, God created man in such a way that man had His image outwardly and had a spirit inwardly to contact and receive God. Second, God became a man and accomplished redemption to solve all the problems between God and man and release the divine life. Third, He became the life-giving Spirit. This is the Triune God in whom we believe today. When He enters into those who believe in Him, He dispenses Himself into them. How does He give Himself to us? When He as the life-giving Spirit comes into us, He is begotten in us. When He is born in us, we are regenerated to become another person, no longer the original person. Such a person is born of God and has the authority to be a child of God (John 1:12-13). Now we not only are created by God and have His image; we also are born of God. He Himself is born into us to be our life, our person, and our everything. He and we become one entity—God yet man, man yet God.
(The Dispensing, Transformation and Building of the Processed Divine Trinity in the Believers, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)