TRANSFORMED TO BECOME LIVING STONES
FOR GOD’S BUILDING
We were pieces of clay, but after being transformed by Jesus, we become stones. In Revelation 2:17 the Lord Jesus promised those who overcome that He would give them to eat of the hidden manna and then give them a white stone. This means that by eating Jesus, we will become transformed stones for the building of God.
This fits in with Peter’s thought in his first Epistle. He said that as newborn babes, we should desire to drink the pure milk of the word that we may grow to become living stones (2:2-5). We all are pieces of clay, but by drinking Jesus, by eating Jesus, by taking Jesus in, we will have a metabolic, organic change. The clay will be changed into stone, and we will become white stones, acceptable and justified in the eyes of God.
We become stones not by outward regulation, but by inward transformation with Jesus. Jesus is not only the Transformer but also the transforming element. When He gets into us, His riches do a transforming work. Something is wrought into our tissues, and we become a part of Him. We become the living stones for God’s building.
The house of God, the church, cannot be built up with pieces of clay. A house built with clay cannot stand for long. When the storm comes, it will turn into mud and collapse. The church can be built up only with us as the living stones through transformation. Transformation comes only from the growth in life by feeding on Christ. This is why we all have to eat Jesus. Then we will grow and have some transformation to become living stones. When I consider a number of saints among us, I praise the Lord for His gracious work. I can see the real transformation in them.
This transformation keeps us in the divine oneness. Do you think that we could be one by ourselves? If we are one in a muddy way, there will be a split among us when a storm comes. But I thank and praise the Lord for the transformation I have seen in a number of the saints. Through transformation many local churches have been raised up and built up. It is difficult for there to be a split among us when we are daily experiencing the Lord’s transformation. The oneness among us is not something formed by certain teachings and doctrines or by a certain organization. The oneness among us is the issue of an inward transformation.
We grow by eating, drinking, and digesting Jesus. As we give Jesus the free course in our whole being, we have the growth, and by the growth, we have the transformation. Transformation is not a matter of outward correction. The main principle in being transformed is that you have to give Jesus the free course within you. You have to pray, "Have a free course in me, Lord, that I may have the best digestion." As we eat and digest Jesus, we have the growth in life, and by this growth we have the transformation.
By transformation we are knit together, and this knitting together is the building. Eventually, we all become one building. Not only in one city are we one church, but also in all the cities, we are one Body. Many halls in one city are still one church. Many churches in many cities are still one Body. We are one, not by being organized but by being transformed. Doctrinal teachings do not work to unite us. The more teachings we get, the more divisions we will be in. But the more Jesus we eat, digest, and assimilate, the more transformation we have, and the issue is the spontaneous oneness. Anything without Jesus is wrong. Anything with Jesus is right.
We have to believe that the Lord’s coming is at hand. He is coming, and we have to be ready. We want to be the bride prepared for His coming. This can happen only by our being nourished and fed with Christ. We have to take Him in by calling upon His name. I have seen the blessing brought in through calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. Forget about being religious. The Lord is moving on in a new way. The Lord’s intention, however, is not just to have a group of "crazy" people for Christ. The Lord’s intention is to transform the crazy ones. Our being crazy for Christ affords the Lord a chance to transform us. The Lord is going to transform you, and this transformation is for the building.
Eventually, the Lord will have one corporate vessel, not many separate, individualistic vessels. All the individual vessels will be coordinated, knit together, and built up to become the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem will be the corporate, universal, eternal, and unique vessel in the whole universe to contain our God. Today every local church is a miniature, a smaller model, of the New Jerusalem. The Lord has no intention to have you as an independent vessel. He wants us to be built together to become a universally great corporate vessel. Transformation is the only way that this can happen.
We are crazy for Christ with a purpose. This purpose is to be transformed for the building. All the pious and religious people are through with the Lord’s transformation. When we are crazy from within the spirit, this affords Jesus a chance to transform us. By being transformed, we will be united, coordinated, and built up. The Lord desires a corporate vessel to contain Jesus. The ultimate consummation of this vessel will be the New Jerusalem.
(The Living and Practical Way to Enjoy Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)