Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, by Witness Lee

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God’s purpose in the entire universe is to express Himself in a corporate way, not just to express Himself through you or me or some other individual. This is what the enemy opposes and seeks to frustrate more than anything else. The problem on the earth today is headed up in the enemy’s frustration to God’s fulfillment of His purpose. The earth became and still is a real frustration to God. With God’s will there is no problem in heaven, but there is a real problem on this earth (Matt. 6:10). With many Christians there is a religious concept concerning heaven, which causes them to continually consider heaven and their going to that place. But God’s concern is for the earth; the earth is His desire. We would like to go to heaven, but He would like to come to earth. Eventually, the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2). God’s problem is now on this earth, which is under Satan’s usurping hand. God’s enemy is still usurping the earth to frustrate God’s purpose; hence, the struggle between God and Satan is over this earth. The key to this struggle is humanity. If God could gain humanity, He would win. If Satan could keep humanity in his hand, he would win. Humanity today is also a problem to God; so out of humanity God is building up a church. The church, a building of Christ in humanity, is the key for God to win the victory. If God today could obtain a church, it is certain that He would have the victory. The Lord has ascended, two thousand years have passed, and still He has not come back. The reason He has not returned is that the church is not ready. Today God has not yet obtained the key, the church that is built up with Christ in humanity.

The Psalms show us that God’s intention is to recover His title, His legal rights, over the whole earth through Christ in the church, through Christ in the house, through Christ in the city. Hence, there is the need of the holy hill of Zion. We not only need Christ, but Christ in Zion, Christ in the holy hill. Thus, we have seen that the beachhead, the steppingstone, for God to take over the earth is the church. The building up of the church is not a small matter; it is the key to God’s purpose. This is His work; it is not ours, and we have no ambition in this affair. But we are burdened today that God must have His key. Without the house, without the city, there is no beachhead for God to launch back and recover the earth.

In past years and even at the present time we have seen that wherever and whenever there is a real expression of God, there we find God’s presence, and there we sense God’s anointing. God honors such an expression so greatly because it is the key for the fulfillment of His purpose on earth. He needs a church, a proper church. He needs a house and even a city that He may consider as a stepping-stone for Him to return. His full and longing desire is to step into the earth, but there is as yet no stepping-stone; there is no place where He may put His feet. He yearns to recover the entire earth from the usurping hand of the serpent, but without a beachhead established here it is difficult for Him to accomplish it. He is waiting for a built up church here and there in so many cities on this earth.

All five books of the Psalms show us that the earth is the ultimate intention of God’s desire. He must conquer the earth, recover the earth, and bring it back under His rightful rule. That is why the Lord taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-10, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” But His will is not yet done on the earth. That is why He taught us to pray, “Thy name be hallowed.” But His name is not yet hallowed on earth. That is why He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” But His kingdom has not yet come. Psalm 8 tells us, “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.” But His name is still not excellent in all the earth. God is waiting for the building up of the local churches. When He has this, His name will be hallowed, His Kingdom will come, His will be done on earth as in heaven, and His name will be excellent in all the earth. The building up of the local churches is a tremendous matter.

In the four or five centuries since the reformation the Lord has recovered many things. He has fully recovered the preaching of the Gospel. From the beginning of the last century to about 1930 the Gospel was brought to nearly every corner of the earth. Wherever you go today, in any leading city, there the Gospel is preached, and there are a number of believers. The Lord has spent much time to spread His Gospel throughout the earth and to raise up so many believers. Now, in such a situation, what more must the Lord recover? Undoubtedly, He must recover the practical building up of His local churches in many places with so many believers as the materials. It is entirely reasonable to arrive at such a conclusion. In this day, before His soon coming, He must have such a building on this earth, at least in all the leading cities. But where is the building? Is it in so many small free groups, denominations, and organizations? Certainly not. It is in the local churches that He is recovering the practical building for His coming back.

We are living today in a very crucial time. We are standing at an extremely strategic point in history. The issue of God’s work in the earth today is tremendous. May the Lord be merciful to us and grant us His grace that we may go on with Him. May He open our eyes to see and appreciate His recovery. We appreciate other works which are being done for the Lord, but the unique, strategic work of the Lord today is the practical building up of the local churches in the leading cities of this earth. After a few years you will see what will come forth all over this earth. The Lord will honor this move. He must have the building up of the house and the city that He may recover the entire earth. This is our burden. For this reason we have spent so much time studying the Psalms. There is not one book, even in the New Testament, which reveals these things so clearly as the Psalms. The local churches are the stepping-stone, the beachhead, for Him to take the earth and fulfill His purpose. He will certainly do it. How glorious this will be. What a wonderful experience we will have at that time!

The more we pray-read the Psalms, the more we see how good it is that God has turned us from the law to Christ, that He has brought us from Christ to the house, that we may be enlarged from the house to the city, and that from the city He is recovering the whole earth. Then God’s purpose will be fulfilled. Then we will all say, “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Hallelujah!”

(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)