THE TURNING OF THE LORD’S REVELATION AND VISION AND THE ARRIVING AT THE HIGH PEAK
In Brother Nee the Lord’s revelation and vision reached the Body of Christ. It is a wonderful coincidence that at about the time he went into prison in 1952, the Lord began to use me in Taiwan. From 1950 to this day, it has been forty-four years. Do not blame me for speaking a proud word; I am not proud. You know on what point I began in these forty-four years. I began with Christ and the church. Many of the messages concerning these two points have been published in book form. Among these a good number of the messages are on the Body of Christ. Then a little over ten years ago, probably from 1980, the Lord showed me that in order to have the Body of Christ, the dispensing of Christ is indispensable. So I began to speak concerning the dispensing of Christ. If Christ does not dispense Himself into us, how can we become His Body? From that point I went higher and saw the economy of God. Hence, beginning from 1984 I released many messages on the economy of God. Then in the spring of this year (actually I saw it last year) I continued to go higher. I saw that it is only by God’s becoming man to make man God that the Body of Christ can be produced. This point is the high peak of the vision given to us by God.
Actually, early in the fourth century Athanasius, who was present at the Nicene Council, said that “He was made man that we might be made God.” At that time he was an unnoticed young theologian. This word of his became a maxim in church history. However, later, gradually people in Christianity not only would not teach this but did not dare to teach this.
God is God, and He Himself has begotten us as His children. Whatever anything is born of, that is what it is. We cannot say that when sheep beget sheep, the old sheep are sheep but the little sheep are not sheep. Since God has begotten us, we are the children of God. Furthermore, 1 John 3 says that God will work on us to such an extent that we will be like Him completely (v. 2). From the day God created man, this has been the purpose of God. Hence, what He created was man, yet He created man with the image of God. Adam was created with God’s image and likeness. Then God set man before the tree of life, meaning that He wanted man, who had God’s image, to receive God as his life. As a result, if a man who has received God as his life is not God, then what is he? But the Lord also shows us clearly that we are God in life and nature. A father begets a son, and this son surely is the same as the father in life and nature. Suppose the father is an emperor. We cannot say that all his children are emperors. The children have only their father’s life and nature but not his status; this is clear. God did this that He might produce a Body for Christ, that is, that He might produce an organism for the Triune God, the ultimate manifestation of which is the New Jerusalem.
In the Chinese-speaking conference in February of this year, the brothers wanted me to speak, and my burden was to speak about this matter. For twenty-seven years I had not written a new hymn. Several days before the Chinese-speaking conference I wrote a new hymn with four stanzas:
- What miracle! What mystery!
That God and man should blended be!
God became man to make man God,
From His good pleasure, heart’s desire,
His highest goal attained will be.
- Flesh He became, the first God-man,
His pleasure that I God may be:
In life and nature I’m God’s kind,
Though Godhead’s His exclusively.
His attributes my virtues are;
His glorious image shines through me.
- No longer I alone that live,
But God together lives with me.
Built with the saints in the Triune God,
His universal house we’ll be,
And His organic Body we
For His expression corp’rately.
- Jerusalem, the ultimate,
Of visions the totality;
The Triune God, tripartite man—
A loving pair eternally—
As man yet God they coinhere,
A mutual dwelling place to be;
God’s glory in humanity
Shines forth in splendor radiantly!
After singing this hymn, you can realize that it is a special hymn. In the two-thousand-year history of Christianity there is not one hymn that is of this category. This is the unique hymn in this category of hymns. This hymn speaks very clearly concerning the high peak of God’s vision.
Today in the Lord’s recovery, it is not that we will not preach the gospel anymore; but preaching the gospel is for begetting. And it is not that we will not nourish the saints anymore or that we will not perfect the saints anymore. All the begetting, nourishing, and perfecting are for the building. However, what are we building? Are we just building the local churches? No. We are building the local churches for the building up of the Body of Christ, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem. Then, does this mean that we just forget about the local churches? No. The local churches are the procedure for God to accomplish the building of the Body of Christ. God still has to greatly use the local churches. Thank the Lord, through this kind of fellowship I hope that we all know where we are today and also where we should be and what we should do.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)