THE ONENESS OF GOD IN THE NEW CREATION
In producing the church as the new creation, God also acted according to His nature of oneness. How many churches were produced on the day of Pentecost? The answer, as we all know, is that at Pentecost just one church came into existence. The Lord Jesus lived on earth for thirty-three and a half years. At the end of these years, He did not have, as we might expect, millions of followers. He had not established schools for the training of disciples. During the years of His ministry, the Lord had miraculously fed a multitude of people on at least two occasions. However, He apparently did nothing to retain a large following. Therefore, on the day of Pentecost only one hundred twenty were meeting together.
Once again we see that God’s way is the way of oneness. For this reason, only one church was produced on the day of Pentecost, the day that marked the beginning of the church life. This indicates that the beginning of the church was in the unique oneness that is according to the nature of God. The many churches that later came into existence through the expansion of the church life may be compared to the descendants of Adam and Abraham. Although Adam has had countless descendants, the fact remains that in God’s creation there was just one man. In like manner, although Abraham’s descendants were to be as the sand of the seashore, God nonetheless originally called just one person. Now in the New Testament we see that on the day of Pentecost only one church was produced by the Spirit. This church is the Body and also the one new man.
As the new man, the church is a corporate man, just as Adam was a corporate man. Furthermore, as the corporate man of God’s creation was divided into nations, so the corporate man of God’s new creation has been divided into denominations. This is the work of Satan. The nations damaged the one man of God’s creation, and the denominations have damaged the corporate man of God’s new creation. Just as the corporate man created by God was divided and dispersed, and just as the children of Israel were divided and scattered, so the church as the new man has been divided. Although this division has been a frustration to the accomplishment of God’s purpose, God cannot be defeated. His purpose will be fulfilled.
THE ONENESS OF GOD IN THE NEW JERUSALEM
Ultimately, God’s purpose will be fulfilled through the new city, New Jerusalem. In the eyes of God, this new city has already come into existence. The principle with the new city is the same as that with the creation of man. After man was created by God, he was placed in front of a unique tree, the tree of life. He was also warned not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat of the tree of life is to keep the oneness, but to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to fall into division, for it is to become involved with death, darkness, and the Devil. Therefore, God’s principle in His creation was to create one man and place him in front of a unique tree. This principle applies also to the New Jerusalem. In this unique city we see one throne, one street, one river, and one tree of life on either side of the river.
According to Ephesians 1:10, Christ, who is the center of God’s economy, will ultimately head up all things through the church. Ephesians 1:10 will be fulfilled at the time of the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth. The city of New Jerusalem will be used by God to head up all things in oneness. This means that for eternity there will be no division, only oneness.
ON THE GROUND OF ONENESS
From the beginning in Genesis 1 to the consummation in Revelation 22, we consistently see the divine oneness. God is one, and the man created by God was also one. This unique man was placed in front of the unique tree of life. After the corporate man created by God had been divided into nations, God selected one man, Abraham. Then, centuries later, He produced one church. Ultimately, God will have one eternal city with one throne, one street, one river, and one tree. In each of the four great acts of God, therefore, we see the principle of oneness. This should cause us to realize that the church today must be in oneness and must be built on the ground of oneness. Oneness is the very ground of the church. May the Lord grant us more light concerning this precious oneness.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)