VI. THE HOUSE OF GOD
The house of God (John 1:51) signifies Christ increased with the church built up with the believers as stones and with the life-giving Spirit as the oil to be the enlarged house of God (Bethel) for the fulfillment of Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28:10-19). As the universal ladder, Christ brings heaven to earth and joins earth to heaven and thereby makes God and man one for eternity. Jacob’s dream is being fulfilled today. We in the church are experiencing the fulfillment of this dream. We have Christ in His humanity as the universal ladder joining earth to heaven and heaven to earth. In Him God and man become one for eternity.
John 1:42 reveals that the believers are stones, and verse 51 refers to the house of God. We are not only individual stones—we are a part of the house of God. This requires that we be built up together as God’s house. What is your situation with respect to the building of God’s house? Are you scattered, piled up, or built up? To be scattered means that we do not come together with the believers in the meetings. To be piled up together means that we do nothing more than come to the meetings. The gathering of building materials is for the building up. For example, several years ago we bought a great many materials for the building of this meeting hall in Anaheim. First those materials were piled up on the building site. But after several months, those materials became the building. Now we no longer have materials piled up—we have a building. This is an illustration of the fact that in the church life we should not be only a pile of materials, but materials which have been built together into God’s house.
VII. THE SIX SIGNS COVERING BOTH THE SPAN AND THE SCOPE OF THE CENTRAL LINE OF GOD’S ENTIRE ECONOMY
The six signs in John 1 cover both the span and the scope of the central line of God’s entire economy. God’s economy is the universal story, a story that involves a number of great mysteries. The first of these mysteries is the universe itself. The vastness of the universe is beyond measure. We may say that the measure of the universe is Christ Himself, for in Paul’s words, Christ is the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth (Eph. 3:18). Our human mind is not able to comprehend such vastness. In this vast universe there is an economy, a divine operation.
God’s economy as the universal story is fully embodied in the Word. At the beginning of both his Gospel and his first Epistle, John speaks concerning the Word. As the story of the universal economy, the Word is the embodiment of the Triune God. Although the Triune God is mysterious, He is nonetheless embodied in the Word. The Word denotes the definition, explanation, and expression of God. The Triune God embodied in the Word is explained, defined, and expressed. Therefore, the Word is the definition and expression of the mysterious and invisible God.
The Word is the wonderful, all-inclusive, divine Person. He is both God and man, both the Creator and a creature. He includes all the divine things and all the divine matters. This Word is revealed and developed in the writings of John in his Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation.
According to John 1:14, the Word as the embodiment of the Triune God became flesh. This flesh is the tabernacle, God’s dwelling place.
In the four Gospels we see a portrait of the tabernacle in motion. When Christ was on earth, He was a living and moving tabernacle. He could travel from Galilee to Judea. He could stay for a while in Jerusalem and then go to Samaria. Hence, we may say that He was a traveling tabernacle.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)