The Central Thought of God, by Witness Lee


Now let us consider the six days of God’s work. God’s work on the first day was, on the one hand, to send His Spirit to move upon, to brood over, the surface of the waters and, on the other hand, to call the light to shine (Gen. 1:2-3). Thus, on the first day were the brooding Spirit and the shining light. With this brooding and shining came the separation of light from darkness (vv. 4-5). Before this, there was no light, so there was no division, no separation, between light and darkness. Please remember that with the work of the first day there were the Spirit and the light. The light separates. Where light is, there is the discernment, the separation, the division.

On the second day God made the firmament, the expanse (vv. 6-8). The expanse is space. God created the expanse to divide the waters under it from the waters above it. On the second day, the expanse was the dividing element.

The work of the third day was to recover the land (vv. 9-13). The land had been created already but was buried by the deep waters. God brought the land out of the waters of death and caused the land to produce all kinds of life—the grass, the herbs, the trees, and so on.

On the fourth day, there was the recovery of all the light bearers, the sun, the moon, and the stars (vv. 14-19). There was the sun in the daytime and the moon and stars in the nighttime. On the fifth day, the living creatures in the waters were created. Then the flying creatures in the air were created (vv. 20-23).

On the sixth day the living creatures on the land—the cattle, the beasts, and creeping things—were created (vv. 24-25). Then man was created (vv. 26-27).

Now we need to see what these figures signify and reveal to us. At the beginning of Genesis 1 are the Spirit of God and the light, and at the end is man with the image and authority of God. In between are the dividing between light and darkness, the dividing between the waters above and the waters underneath, and the dividing between the land and the waters. Without these dividings, it is impossible to have any kind of life. After all these dividings, the land emerged to produce different kinds of life and to become a place to live for the living creatures.

On the first day there was no life but there was light. Life always follows light. It is not life that comes first, but light. On the first day was the Spirit with the light. On the second day were the divisions. Then on the third day was the producing of life. On the fourth day there were the bigger and more solid lights, the embodied lights; so after this there was more life. On the fifth day was the animal life, the life in the waters and the life in the air. On the sixth day was the life on the land. Eventually, there was the highest life of the creatures, which was the human life, a life with the image and authority of God, a life that could express God and represent God. The image of God is the expression of God, and the authority of God is the representation of God. If you have the authority of God, you are the representative of God.

Now we can see that the direction of God’s creation is toward life, and the goal of God’s creation is life. Scientists spend much time studying the universe, and others try to study the first chapters of the Bible with scientific knowledge. They think that the story of creation in the Bible is unbelievable and untrustworthy. However, we have to know that this Bible is a book of life. God did not give us a record of the whole process concerning His creation. He gave us only a little bit to show us what His central thought is.

Similarly, the apostle John told us that, besides those things that were recorded in his Gospel, the Lord Jesus did many other things (John 21:25). The Lord did hundreds of miracles, yet the apostle John selected only a few and put them in his Gospel to prove and testify to us that Christ is the Son of God so that we may believe into Him and have life. This is the goal. This is the central thought of John.

God created the whole universe with myriads of things, yet He gave us a record of only two chapters concerning His creation. If He had given us the complete record of His creation, we would be overburdened. Actually, there is no need for us to know all these things. All these things are not God’s goal or central thought. His goal, His central thought, is a life matter. The purpose of the record of the creation of the universe is to lead us to know life.

Genesis 1 tells us that on the third day life was produced. The third day is a day of life out of death, a day of resurrection. The Lord Christ Himself was the very life buried by the waters of death. It was on the third day that He was recovered from death to produce life. The Lord is typified by the land buried by the waters of death and recovered by the life power of God. He was brought out of death to produce life; we all were regenerated, reborn, by the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). When He was resurrected, we were raised up with Him from death (Eph. 2:6). We are like the plants produced out of the land. We are God’s farm, God’s cultivated land (1 Cor. 3:9b). By the resurrection of Christ, we were produced and made alive.

Someone wrote a hymn with the following lines: “There is sunshine in my soul today,/More glorious and bright/Than glows in any earthly sky,/For Jesus is my light” (Hymns, #343). After we are regenerated, we enjoy Christ as our light. After the third day, there were the sun, the moon, and the stars on the fourth day. After we have been regenerated, we have Christ as the sun shining within us to make us as the moon reflecting the light of the sun and to make us the shining stars. The fourth-day lights are the sun, the moon, and the stars. In the first chapter of Genesis the believers are typified by the stars (v. 16c). Daniel 12:3 says that those who turn many to righteousness shine like stars. In Revelation, the messengers of the churches, the spiritual ones who bear the responsibility of the testimony of Jesus, are the shining stars (1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1). The church is typified by the moon in Genesis 1 (v. 16b), and Christ is typified by the sun, the greatest light bearer (v. 16a). Just as the moon is the reflection of the sun, so the church is the reflection of Christ. This typifies Christ with His Body, including all the members.

After this shining of Christ within us, we become like a fish or a bird. We can live in an environment which is impossible for others to live in. We can live in a situation of death. The water always kills, yet we can live and move in it. We are the “fish” because we have life. The water is salty, yet we are not salty. The water is full of death, full of sin, yet we are full of life, with nothing salty, nothing sinful. Moreover, sometimes we can fly in the air like the birds. We have the flying element in the divine life. Many times oppressions, trials, and temptations come to us, but we can declare to them, “All of these things are under my feet. There is no need for me to fight with you. I will fly above you.” Following this, we have the more abundant life, a life that can work for God, that can do the will of God, that can move on this earth. Eventually, we have the life with the image of God to express God and the authority of God to represent God. This shows us that the goal, the direction, of God’s record, which is also the central thought of God, is Christ and the church with the matter of life.

(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)