Revelation 14:14-16 tells us that the Lord harvested the wheat. However, at the end of the book of Revelation in the New Jerusalem there is no wheat. In Revelation 14 the Lord Jesus harvested much wheat, but ultimately what became of it? All of the wheat became gold, pearls, and precious stones. In Revelation 14 there are the firstfruit and the harvest; in Revelation 21 there are gold, pearls, and precious stones. The wheat has been transformed. In chapter fourteen there is the harvest out of the growth; in chapter twenty-one there is the transformation of the wheat. The wheat becomes precious stones through transformation just as wood becomes stone as a result of being petrified. Are we wheat or precious stones? On the one hand we are wheat, and on the other hand we are among the precious stones. We are God’s farm, growing wheat, and we are God’s building, composed of all the precious stones.
Eventually, the Lord’s harvest will become a city. The harvest of wheat in Revelation 14 will become the city in Revelation 21. In the harvest we can see the growth of life, but in the city we can see the transformation of life. Along with transformation there is building. Growth without transformation does not produce any building. However, with growth and transformation there is a building, a corporate Body.
A CITY FULL OF LIFE
The pure Word of the Bible presents the Lord Jesus as the all-inclusive seed. There is the growth of the seed, the transformation of the seed, the maturity of the seed, and the ultimate consummation of the spreading of the seed in the holy city. The New Jerusalem is built with transformed materials. This is the kingdom. Within this city there is nothing but life: the tree of life grows in the river of life, and the river of life flows out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Life is the unique way that we must take. We all must be on the same street, the same way of life, with the water flowing and the tree growing. This will not only produce the building of God, but it will also sustain the building of God for eternity. For eternity, the building of God will be sustained by the flowing of life and the growing of life. Today, we may experience a foretaste of the full taste. The local church is a miniature of God’s kingdom, with the life flowing to produce and sustain a building composed of precious materials. In the kingdom there is one life, one way, and one expression.
The entire city has the appearance of jasper, which means it has the appearance of God (Rev. 4:3). In the church life there is also one life, one way, and one expression. Regardless of the number of local churches, the way is one because the life is one. Therefore, the expression is also uniquely one. There should be no expression of either you or me. There should be no expression of Chinese or American philosophies. There should be no expression of doctrines or gifts. The city only expresses the image of God. Within the life of God there is the essence and the shaping. In the life essence of God, we receive the life regulation. Eventually, we will all be shaped into the image of God. We will not be according to our kind; we will be according to God’s kind. In Genesis 1 the vegetable life and the animal life are each after its own kind. We will not be after our kind, but after God’s kind, bearing His image and expressing Him. All of the local churches must have only one life, one way, and one expression. This one expression is not in doctrine or in teaching or in spiritual gifts. It is in Christ as the all-inclusive life.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)