THE VISION ON THE HIGH MOUNTAIN
I must point out now that this vision of God’s building is revealed only from the high mountain top. If we are still on a low plain, our eyes will be veiled. We must be carried away to a high mountain in order to see things clearly and thoroughly. In Revelation the Apostle John was carried away in spirit to a mountain great and high (Rev. 21:10). From this place he was shown the New Jerusalem, God’s ultimate building. This city was coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal. In Revelation 4, the appearance of God sitting on the throne was also like jasper stone. Therefore, this city is the same as God’s appearance! John was acquainted with a temple in ancient Jerusalem, but he did not see a temple in this new city, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple thereof. Neither did this city need sun or moon, for the glory of God lightened it, and the Lamb was the lamp thereof. God is the light in Christ, the Lamp. John also saw in the center of the city a clear river proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. These details are very meaningful and can only be seen from a high mountain.
GOD’S INTENTION IN HIS CREATION
The main purpose of this chapter is that we may see what is revealed from the beginning of God’s work of creation. Strictly speaking, we are not dealing with God’s creation as such, but His intention in creation. I believe all Christians know the creation story. Many of us as youngsters were taught this subject in Sunday School. We know what God made on the first day, the second day, and so on; but have we realized God’s aim and goal in His creation?
Here is the picture in Genesis 1: God created heaven and earth. Then, in a sense, the earth was damaged; so it was buried in deep waters. There was a waste and void, darkness, deep water, and no life. Then God performed three kinds of separation. On the first day, He divided the light from the darkness. Then God separated the waters above from the waters beneath the firmament. And finally, He divided the land from the water. Out of this separated or resurrected land, God brought forth an abundance and variety of life. There was life of the lowest form and without consciousness, the vegetable life; then, there was life of the higher form, the animal life. Finally, man was brought forth as the apex of God’s creation. In Genesis 1, God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them; and God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply; and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28).
FOUR KEY WORDS
Please note carefully four key words from Genesis 1: man, image, dominion and earth. Image and dominion are very meaningful. Both are vitally related to man, the center of God’s creation. It is God’s intention that man have dominion over all the earth, not just over the living creatures of this earth. God commanded man to replenish or fill the earth; and He also told man to subdue the earth. Subdue is a strong, significant word. It indicates that there is something of rebellion on this earth which must be subdued. Man is to have dominion over everything that moves or creeps upon this earth. Man was made in the image of God and committed with the dominion of God to rule over this earth.
Only a few have paid much attention to the fourth key word, the earth. It is a little word, much neglected by Christians today. So many dream and talk about a wonderful place called “heaven.” However, God’s desire is this earth. Man is to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, and subdue it. If we could apprehend the real meaning of these four words—man, image, dominion, and earth—I believe we would understand the entire Scripture!
(The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)