THE THREEFOLD DISPENSING OF THE DIVINE TRINITY TO PRODUCE THE MATERIALS AND THE UNIQUE TRANSMISSION OF THE TRANSCENDING CHRIST TO FORM THESE MATERIALS INTO THE CHURCH
Ephesians 1 is on the church as the issue of two matters. The first matter is the threefold dispensing of the Divine Trinity. This matter is deep and fine, but it is not very hard for us to get into it. The second matter is the onefold unique transmission of the transcending Christ. This matter is very difficult to see. This is why after the mentioning of the first matter, Paul did not go on directly to the second matter. Instead, he prayed. He realized that we are short of the capacity to understand and to see, because the transmitting of the transcending Christ is so high, far above all.
In order for the church to come into existence, two steps are necessary. First, the materials must be produced, and then these materials need to be formed into a constitution. The transmitting of the transcending Christ is not to produce the church but to form the church. We may use the formation of a nation as an illustration of this. First, the nation needs the people. Over three hundred years ago, many people immigrated to the United States. But these people were not yet a nation. For people to immigrate here was somewhat hard, but for these immigrated people to be formed into a nation was very hard. This needs ability.
Throughout the history of the church, many lovers of the Lord stopped at the first matter, at the producing of the saints, the constituents, but they would not care for the second matter, the constitution and the formation of the church. Today it is the same. Many spiritual giants would not care for the church. They say that if you care for the church, you will have trouble. This is really true. If you only bring people to Christ, everybody will welcome you and highly appraise you. But when you do something to follow the transcending Christ to form the church through His transmitting, you will have trouble.
In the four Gospels, through three and a half years, Christ gathered a group of people. He touched many thousands of people, even feeding five thousand at one time. But eventually He gained only one hundred twenty (Acts 1:15). These one hundred twenty were the produce of the Father’s choosing, of the Son’s redeeming, and of the Spirit’s sealing. In the book of Acts, they were ready to be something, but even they themselves did not know what to be. They waited for seven weeks, from the day of resurrection to the day of Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost, the transcending Christ transmitted His transcending power to these one hundred twenty.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter became different from the way he had his being in the four Gospels. In Matthew 16, he spoke something very high (v. 16), but he spoke mostly in a nonsensical way in the Gospels (Matt. 16:22-23; 17:4-5, 24-27; John 13:6-10). But in Acts, Peter became right-side up. On the day of Pentecost, the transcending Christ transmitted His transcending power into the one hundred twenty and they became the church. So in Acts 2 it was not Peter standing alone to speak; it was Peter standing with the eleven (v. 14). The eleven spoke with him. That indicated it was not one person speaking but the church speaking, so the power was there.
Throughout the history of the church and even today, not many would care for the church. Christ said that He would come quickly, but He does not come quickly according to the way that many Christians think. Without the church being built up, how could Christ come back? This is why seventy years ago, the Lord did something with Brother Nee to take care of the church. This is what is called "the recovery." The taking care of the church had been lost and missed for centuries. But on this earth a young man named Watchman Nee was raised up by the transcending Christ. When he stood up in China, all things rose up against him. Today it is the same. We are still encountering Hades, the earth, the air, and the evil one, who would even go to the third heaven.
All of us need to see this. This is why we need Paul’s prayer for the Father to give us a spirit of wisdom with the capacity to understand, to comprehend, and a spirit of revelation with the view. In order to have the view, we need the light. The eyes of our heart need to be enlightened that we may see three things: God’s calling, God’s inheritance, and God’s power. We need to see not only the power but also the surpassing greatness of the power that operated in Christ to raise Him from Hades through the earth, through the air, and through the third heaven to the top of the universe, in order that He might transmit there all that He has obtained and attained to His chosen, redeemed, transformed, prepared people to form them into the church.
(The Issue of the Dispensing of the Processed Trinity and the Transmitting of the Transcending Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)