THE NEED OF MATURITY
We are God’s farm (1 Cor. 3:9, lit.), and as God’s farm we may have at least three different stages of harvesting. Those who ripen early will be harvested first by the Lord and will be the overcomers as the firstfruit. These will be taken by the Lord to the throne of God in the third heavens for God’s satisfaction. Most will be left in the field for another length of time to ripen before they are harvested. A few who are on the edge of the church life, in the corners of the field, will be left until the last. The type of this kind of harvest is found in Exodus 23 and Leviticus 23. The partial fulfillment is in Matthew 13, and the complete fulfillment is in Revelation 14. There we find the firstfruit and the harvest. According to the description in Revelation 14, the firstfruit are the saints who are saturated with the Lord Jesus. They are the ones who have been fully occupied with Christ and taken over by Christ until they are matured. My heart aches for many of the Lord’s children who seem to be somewhat ignorant, careless, and dull concerning the need to be matured. How serious it is that we are God’s farm, God’s crop! There is no doubt that we are wheat, but how mature are we? Will we be the firstfruit or the harvest or the gleanings? I beg you to take this word seriously and to bring this matter to the Lord. By such a reaping of God’s crop which we call the rapture, the Lord Jesus will transfer the reality of the kingdom into the manifestation of the kingdom. Matthew 13:43 says, "Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear." The righteous ones here are the overcomers. Those who are living in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens today will be raptured and transferred into the Father’s kingdom to become the shining ones there.
THE PRINCIPLES AS A WARNING
Do not be tempted to be curious concerning all the details of these matters. What the Lord reveals to us is a principle. The principle is that the Lord’s crop, His wheat, needs to be matured. Those who are matured will be taken first. Then after the firstfruit will come the harvest. There is no need for us to figure out the time that the firstfruit will be taken away and the time that the harvest will be taken away. Don’t try to understand the Bible in this way. The Lord reveals to us, not the details, but the principles. The details would require tens of thousands of pages to describe. We do not need the details, but we do need to pick up the help from the principles. So forget about your curiosity, but pick up the principles as a warning. We all need to pick up the warning and to realize that we need to be mature. We all need to pray, "Lord, have mercy upon me that I would be a part of the firstfruit, and that I would be an overcomer."
Pray that you will be a wise virgin. Pray that the Lord will save you from being a foolish virgin. Do not try to pick up the details. Rather pick up some living, unveiling, revealing, stirring, and encouraging word from the Lord. Otherwise, you may be clear about some of the details, but miss the rapture. You may miss being an overcomer although you are clear about some of the facts. Pick up the principle to receive the warning. Do not be ensnared by the desire to have the knowledge concerning the details. We need to see God’s purpose and intention, and we need to see our responsibility to cooperate with Him. We need to enjoy Christ, to participate in Him, and to take Him in until we are matured. Eventually, He will be expressed as our marriage garment, and we will be qualified to be co-kings with Him. Do not take all these points in order to systematize the Bible. May the Lord preserve us so that we will simply care for the pure and real revelation of the principles as a warning.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 39, by Witness Lee)