Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), by Witness Lee

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What occupied the children of Israel during those forty years? There was no industry. How did they spend their time when they were not traveling? They began their day before sunrise, gathering the manna. In addition to preparing and eating it, they first built the tabernacle and then carried it all during their journey.

Here is a clear picture of what we should eat, what we should be, and what we should do. Our diet is Christ. We should be those who eat Him. We should build up the church to be the dwelling place of God and then carry it as His testimony wherever we go.

The worldly-wise might have thought the Israelites were lazy and purposeless. Why didn’t they settle in one place and farm? Then they could grow onions, leeks, and garlic, instead of having only manna to eat. Why did they do nothing but build a tabernacle and then carry it around with them?

In our day we may be criticized for not going to the mission field, for not engaging in this or that Christian work, or for not caring about the gospel. Why is it we keep meeting together and pay little attention to anything other than Christ and the church?

We do not want to follow the pattern set by Christianity. Rather, we would be like the Israelites of old, eating manna and caring for the tabernacle. If we have such a testimony, souls will be won. Lovers of the Lord Jesus will be attracted.

Young people, are you satisfied with such a life? Your living is to eat Christ. Your work is to build the church with Christ. Your testimony is to carry the church with Christ. This is God’s economy.


In the previous message on the tree of life, we pointed out that God’s intention from the beginning was to be taken into man as food. In this message we have traced man’s failure and the steps God took to recover man from death and the world. This triumphant exodus from condemnation and tyranny was brought about by the eating of the Passover. Then for forty years in the wilderness God gave His people manna. By this nourishment the tabernacle was built and His testimony set up. The book of Exodus, then, again reminds us that God’s intention for man is to be his life, received in the form of food. When man thus partakes of Him, God’s habitation is built and His purpose realized.

(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 27, by Witness Lee)