THE NEW LIGHT IN THE RECOVERY
Revelation opens with “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1). Revelation is not only an objective term; it has a subjective aspect as well. It is a revelation not only by Christ, but also of Him. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is like a photograph of Him.
The Jesus Christ in Revelation 1 is altogether different from the One described in the four Gospels! John in his youth had leaned upon the Lord’s bosom (John 13:23). Now in his old age he was terrified by the Jesus he saw (Rev. 1:17). The Christ who is described in Revelation is even different from the Christ in Paul’s revelation. In Colossians Paul revealed a Christ who is everything—He is all-inclusive; He is all-extensive; He is the portion of the saints; He is the image of God; He is the first item of all the creatures; He is the Firstborn of resurrection; He is the reality of all the shadows! To most Christians Jesus is only meek and gentle. But in Revelation this all-inclusive, extensive Christ becomes so terrifying.
The Seven Spirits
It is not a light matter that in our day and among us the Lord has recovered these things. The matter of the seven Spirits was recovered in the Erie conference in the summer of 1969. On my way to one of the meetings of the conference I still did not know what I should speak on. As I walked toward the meeting place, the title “The Seven Spirits” came to me. Before that, I had no thought of speaking on that subject. After I had given the message, one of the brothers told me that of all the messages he had heard me give, this one was the most living. Afterwards, I went back to Los Angeles for the conference and training. That time of training in 1969 was the high point of the Lord’s recovery in the United States. Those messages were a continuation of the subject of the seven Spirits.
The Tree of Life
In these past twenty years I have said many times that you should eat of the tree of life. In fact, the first stage of my stay in this country might be considered the tree-of-life stage! I have given several messages pointing out the correspondence between the first two chapters of the Bible and the last two chapters. Some have been caught for the Lord’s recovery by hearing a message on the two trees and on the New Jerusalem.
The Lampstand and the Building
Before I left mainland China in 1949, these topics were not adequately mentioned. Not only has the church been recovered, but the church specifically as the lampstand. Besides the eating of the tree of life, the building has also been recovered. The King James Version uses the word edifying instead of building; to most people to be edified means to be instructed, not to be built up. Many times I have spoken to you on the building. We have published a book called Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs; this book came from messages given in Los Angeles in 1972. Also, when we had the training on the Gospel of John, I pointed out that this Gospel deals with life and building. To my knowledge no one before us ever called attention to the matter of building in John’s Gospel.
What a privilege to be here today! Even twenty years ago we did not have so much light on the tree of life for God’s building. When we were on the mainland of China, we seldom mentioned the matter of God’s building, but since coming to the U.S.A., many messages have been given on the river of life and the tree of life in Revelation 22:1-2 for God’s building. I have spoken many times on the Bible’s concluding with a promise (22:14) and a call (22:17). Don’t think that I speak on these matters as a hobby. No! I have a burden. What is there left to recover after the New Jerusalem with the river of life and the tree of life for God’s building? The Lord’s recovery began with Romans. It will conclude with Revelation.
What can come after these: the revelation of Jesus Christ, the testimony of Jesus, the lampstand, the eating of the tree of life, the seven Spirits, God’s building, the New Jerusalem with the river of life flowing and the tree of life growing in the river, the promise to eat and the call to drink? Do you not realize that these are the items comprising the ultimate recovery?
(The World Situation and God's Move, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)