THE ONENESS OF GOD IN CREATION
The Bible reveals four great acts or activities of God: creation, election, the new creation, and the New Jerusalem. In each of these four acts we see the matter of oneness. The first three actions—the creation, the election of the nation of Israel, and the formation of the church as the new creation—have already taken place. The coming of the New Jerusalem, God’s new city, of course, will take place in the future. After the age of the millennium, this new city will be manifested in full.
God’s creation was uniquely one. He did not create more than one universe. Furthermore, in this unique universe, man is the focal point of God’s creation. The Bible clearly reveals that God created just one man. When I was young, I wondered why God did not create billions of people at the same time. It seemed to me that it would have been much wiser for God to carry on the work of creation in this way. To be sure, God was able to simultaneously create billions of human beings. However, He did not do so. For the sake of the oneness, God created one man, Adam.
Genesis 1:26 says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion." According to this verse, God firstly said, "Let us make man." Then He went on to say, "Let them have dominion." In referring to the man created in His image, God used a plural pronoun. This indicates that the one man created by God was a corporate man. God’s intention is not to have many men; it is to have one corporate man. This is for the keeping of the oneness.
This principle applies to the church today. On the one hand, with reference to the church, we may speak of the church in a particular locality, such as the church in Anaheim. But, on the other hand, we may also refer to the church by using such pronouns as we and us to denote the members of the church. Because the church is a corporate entity, it includes all the believers in a locality. Therefore, in referring to the church, we may speak either of the church in singular number or of us, the believers in Christ, in plural number. This means that the church is a corporate entity and that we are the church. Just as the church is a corporate entity, so, in the same principle, the man created by God was a corporate man.
THE ONENESS OF GOD IN SELECTION
However, due to the repeated falls of man, the corporate man created by God became fallen. Step by step the man created for God’s purpose fell lower and lower until, with the lowest stage of his fall at Babel, he was divided into nations. The one man was of God, but the many nations had their source in the Devil. The nations were devilish because they were divisions of the corporate man created by God for the fulfillment of His purpose. When this corporate man became the nations, it was no longer possible for him to carry out God’s purpose. At that point, God was forced to give up fallen mankind. Therefore, for the sake of His eternal purpose, God came in to call out one man, Abraham, to be the father of the called race. He selected one person from among fallen mankind to be the father of the called race. Just as God had created one man, so He called only one man. We may think that God should have called out a multitude of people. If we were God at the time of the calling of Abraham, we certainly would have called many people. However, it would have been against God’s nature to call more than one person. God’s nature is oneness. Hence, both in creation and in selection He was true to His nature. When Paul speaks of the oneness of the church in Ephesians 4, he speaks of one Spirit, one Lord, and one God. Because God is uniquely one, He is bound by His nature to create one man and also to call one man. To act otherwise would be contrary to His nature.
God does not act hastily. Although He is the almighty God, He never does anything in a hasty way. He created one man, Adam, and He selected one man, Abraham. Because His nature is oneness, He created only one person and called only one.
When the descendants of Abraham were about to enter into the good land, God charged them not to worship at the place of their choice (Deut. 12:8). Rather, they were required to go to the place of God’s choice, to the place He had chosen to put His name and for His habitation (Deut. 12:5). No matter how many Israelites there might have been, they were required to come to this unique place three times a year. According to the natural concept, such a requirement is not reasonable. Nevertheless, God required this of His people in order to keep the oneness. However, the oneness of God’s people was eventually lost. Firstly, the oneness of created mankind was damaged. Furthermore, due to the degradation of the nation of Israel, the oneness of God’s chosen people was also destroyed. Some were carried off to Assyria, others to Egypt, and still more to Babylon. Such a division of God’s people was a frustration to the fulfillment of His purpose.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)