Basic Training, by Witness Lee


The church also is a mystery. Are we the church? How can we be the church when we are sometimes as bad as Satan? How can we be the church when we argue with our husbands or wives? The church is holy, pure, righteous, spiritual, and heavenly. The church has rejected the soul-life to the uttermost. How can we who are full of self say that we are the church? Moreover, the church has nothing to do with the world. So how can we, who are still so worldly, claim to be the church?

Regarding the church, there are a number of questions we need to ask: Who is the church? What is the church? Where is the church? Why is the church? How is the church? As you endeavor to answer these questions, it may seem that there is no church at all. The church is mysterious. If you say that you are the church, I will say that you are not, but if you say that you are not the church, I will say that you are. We may be the church to a certain degree. For example, some may be fifty-five percent the church. This is the case because the church is a mystery. No one can measure the church. Like the air, the church is mysterious and immeasurable.


Now we come to the last mystery, the mystery of the future. Both the origin of the universe and the future of the universe are a mystery. None of the scientists knows what the future of the universe will be. They do not even know what the next day or the next hour will bring. Hallelujah, we know the mystery of the future! This mystery is the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. Although no scientist or scholar understands this, we know it because the Bible reveals it to us. The Bible opens with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” But the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away” (Rev. 21:1). In the new heaven and the new earth, the New Jerusalem will be God’s tabernacle among men. This is the future.

The New Jerusalem is an eternal reflection of the church today. If you want to see what the church is, look at this eternal reflection. The New Testament does not give us a full definition of the church, but we do see a complete picture of the church in the New Jerusalem. If you want to know the church, look at this eternal reflection. What we are doing in the church today is reflected there.

These seven mysteries cover the entire Bible. The span of these mysteries is vast, extending from eternity past to eternity future. In the coming messages we shall consider these mysteries in detail, especially the mysteries of man, Christ, the Spirit, and the church.

(Basic Training, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)