Saturday, August 24, 2013

LEAVING OUR TRADITION AND OLD CONCEPTS TO COME TO THE MEETING IN A LIVING WAY WITH THE CHRIST WE HAVE ENJOYED


Concerning the technique for meeting, there are no rules or regulations. Regardless of what kind of meeting we have—for the Lord’s table, for prayer, for study, or for a message—we almost always sit and wait for a hymn. There is no such teaching that we should always start the meeting with a hymn. From where did we learn this? This is simply a tradition that has crept in. Whether starting with a hymn is right or wrong depends on Christ and the Spirit. Moreover, from whom did we learn that only the responsible brothers should announce a hymn? Who gave us this kind of regulation? We should not condemn the responsible brothers for this, because it is we who have been too much of a “tomb.” Because we do not take the responsibility, the so-called responsible brothers are forced to act as the “clergy.” We may say that we do not have a laity and a clergy, but in actuality we do. Each of us is responsible for this. May the Lord be merciful to us.
We have to change our concept. Our old concept must be dropped. This is not a matter merely of changing the forms. This is a matter that depends on our daily life. We all have to live by Christ. We all have to labor on the good land, and we have to exercise our spirit. Then when we come to the meeting, there is no need to wait. There is no need to have either a prayer or a hymn first. Everything will come out spontaneously. The right way to meet requires that we have a proper daily walk, have an adequate experience of Christ, and exercise our spirit. Then our spirit will be strengthened, living, active, and positive. Then when we come to the meeting, we will spontaneously pray.
Some may say that this spontaneous way will cause confusion. I do not believe it will, but I would even prefer this kind of living “confusion” to a deadened order. If we all live in the spirit to experience Christ, whatever we pray when we come to the meeting will be right. Variety will produce beauty. If we could go to the feasts of the people of Israel, we would see the variety of the riches of the surplus. If we all pray from our experience of Christ by exercising our spirit, even if there is a variety, there will still be the beauty, and there will be the flow of life.
Because we have been influenced by certain kinds of regulations, each one comes just to sit here. We are used to doing this. I am not saying that we need a change of form. Rather, we need a change in life and a change of concept. Then we will be truly diligent, zealous, active, positive, strong, and living in the spirit. As Christian brothers and sisters, we have to conduct our Christian life in this way, day by day laboring on Christ and experiencing Him by our spirit. We must learn how to exercise our spirit, be strengthened, be living, and be active and positive in our spirit to experience Christ all the time.
Then whenever we come to the meeting, we must realize that it is our duty to share something. Deuteronomy 16:16 tells us that the people of God could not appear before Jehovah empty-handed. They had to come to the feast with something of the good land. Likewise, we need to have something of Christ to bring to the meeting. Then we all will be open to Him, and there will be a way widely opened for the Holy Spirit to move among us. Many riches of Christ will come out and be offered to God for His satisfaction and for our enjoyment in the presence of God with one another. This is our way of meeting and our worship to God. In this way there will be no forms, regulations, laity, or clergy. Rather, all the living members will bring something of Christ to offer to God by the exercise of the spirit. This is the proper way to meet.
We are on the way of recovery, and this way to meet is an item in the Lord’s recovery. We have to drop the old way, the way of form and regulation taken from the tradition we formerly practiced. Let us look to the Lord and cooperate with Him. I say again, we should not merely change our form, but we must change our realization, our concept, and our way of life. Then we will come to the meeting in the living way, with a new way of life under a new realization.
(The Ground of the Church and the Meetings of the Church, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Crystallization Study of the Genesis Banner song



God’s intention in creating man
in His image and according to His likeness
is that man would receive Him as life
and express Him in His attributes,
and God’s intention in giving man dominion
is to subdue His enemy, recover the earth,
and exercise His authority over the earth.

The tree of life as the center
of God’s eternal economy typifies Christ,
the embodiment of the Triune God,
to be life and the life supply
to the tripartite man as a vessel
for the corporate expression of God—
this is the central thought of God.

As God’s people love God and spend time
to fellowship with Him in His word,
God infuses them with His divine element,
making them one with Him as His spouse,
the same as He is in life, nature, and expression.

The seed of the woman is the individual Christ—
the One who bruised the serpent
through His death on the cross—
and also the corporate Christ—the man-child,
including Christ as the Head
and the overcoming believers as the Body—
who will defeat God’s enemy
and bring in His kingdom so that
His eternal purposemight be accomplished.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Living Christ In our Human Virtues



Moreover, in Philippians 1:21 Paul said that to him, to live was Christ. If a person is confused in his mind, muddled in his emotions, and indecisive in his will, he does not have the expression of love, light, holiness, and righteousness, and neither can he live Christ. Furthermore, in 4:8 Paul said, “Brothers, what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things.” To be true means not to be hypocritical and not to lie. To be dignified means to be worthy of respect and to invite reverence. To be righteous is to be right before God and man. To be pure is to be single in intention and action, without any mixture. To be lovely means to be lovable, agreeable. To be well spoken of means to be of good repute and to be attractive. In addition, there are virtues of excellence and things worthy of praise. These eight items are far superior to the principles of propriety, justice, honesty, and sense of shame taught by the Chinese philosophers. When I was young, I felt it was rather strange that Paul spoke about living Christ in chapters one, two, and three, and then in chapter four, instead of speaking about living Christ, he spoke about living out these virtues.
In 4:9 Paul went on to say, “The things which you have also learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things.” These things refer to the eight items that were previously mentioned. Paul seemed to be saying, “I have lived out these virtues, and you also have to practice these virtues which you have seen in me. In this way the God of peace will be with you. If you live out these virtues, you will enjoy the God of peace.”

EXPRESSING THE HUMAN VIRTUES BY BEING IN CHRIST

Then in 4:13 Paul said, “I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.” All things refer to the virtues previously mentioned. When the young people read these eight items, the more they read, the more they will realize that they cannot do these things. They may say, “We have been saved for only a short time, and we are just ordinary people. How can we do these things? Perhaps only the older ones who have been exercised in these things for decades can do them.” However, Paul’s word here is a promise. He “who empowers me” is Christ, who is also the Spirit of Jesus Christ with a bountiful supply, as mentioned in Philippians 1:19. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ Himself with a bountiful supply. He supplies and enables us to live out the things that are true, dignified, righteous, pure, lovely, and well spoken of, as well as any virtue and any praise. All we need is just to be in Him, and He will empower us to live out these virtues.
The phrase “in Him who empowers me” does not sound like proper Chinese. Consequently, the translators of the Chinese version of the Bible rendered this verse as “I am able to do all things by Him who empowers me.” They rendered in as by, that is, by depending upon. Suppose I cannot walk; then I have to walk by depending upon someone who gives me support. This is the meaning of by. But the Bible does not say “by Him” but rather “in Him.” This is hard to comprehend. Let me use electricity as an illustration. For example, there are electric lamps, telephones, and other appliances in a house. But if there is no flow of electricity, then the lamps will not light up, the telephones will not work, and all other electrical appliances will not operate. When the electricity is transmitted, then the electric lamps, telephones, and appliances will be “in the electricity”; consequently, the lamps will light up, the telephones will work, and the motors of the other appliances will begin to operate. Strictly speaking, the electric lamp lights up not by the electricity but in the electricity. Christ is like the electricity; He is the One who empowers us just as the electricity empowers the electrical appliances. We are able to do all things in the “electricity,” in Christ, who empowers us.

EXPERIENCING CHRIST’S INDWELLING

Now let us see how we can experience Christ’s indwelling. The Lord Jesus was thoughtful. He did many things, none of which was foolish. He spoke many words, none of which was unclear. Whenever He spoke, He spoke just the right amount, neither too much nor too little. His emotions were well balanced. He exercised His anger when warranted but with restraint, and His love was also tempered. Furthermore, His will was steadfast. All His expressions were love, light, holiness, and righteousness. He was true, dignified, righteous, pure, lovely, and well spoken of. Furthermore, He was virtuous and praiseworthy. He was the real goodness and the genuine beauty; He was God. In some ways, we are like Him. He has thoughts, and so do we. He has emotions, and so do we. His will is steadfast, and so is ours. Jesus loves, and so do we. Jesus is honest and upright, and so are we. Jesus is holy, and so are we. Jesus is righteous, and so are we. Although there is a difference in degree, we are of the same kind because we were created in His image.
The Lord Jesus is not only wonderful but also mysterious. When you open up your heart and receive Him as your Savior, He comes into you and dwells in you to be your life and everything. How does He come into you? The Bible says that He died for us, was buried, and was resurrected. Now He has become the life-giving Spirit. Today He is the omnipresent Spirit; He is everywhere. Whoever believes into Him and calls upon Him, He will enter into this one to be his life and content. This is the most marvelous thing in the world. The Lord comes into us to dwell in us, and this is what we refer to as His “indwelling.” The indwelling Christ is the embodiment of God and the life-giving, omnipresent Spirit. He has a mind, emotion, and will; He is also love, light, holiness, and righteousness. In the beginning we were created in His image, so we also have a mind, emotion, and will, as well as love, light, holiness, and righteousness. However, we were only an empty shell without the content and reality. We were just like the empty glove that was made in the form of a hand. One day, God became flesh as the Lord Jesus. He lived the human life, died, resurrected, and became the life-giving Spirit. The life-giving Spirit is the Lord Jesus with His mind, emotion, and will and the God who is love, light, holiness, and righteousness. The Spirit enters into us like the hand that fits into the glove to become its content and reality. Thus, we are no longer those who are empty, without content. Our created human virtues are no longer merely a shell because Christ is in us as the reality.(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crystallization-Study of The Psalms (2)Banner songs

2011 Winter Training Banners:

Whenever God's people exalt Christ,
giving Him the preeminence
in every aspect of their living,
there is restoration and revival.


To take God as our habitation,
our eternal dwelling place,
is the highest and fullest
experience of God.

 

God's heart is set on Zion,
the city of God, with Christ within it,
and on Zion we have the church
as the Body of Christ
and God's economy for His testimony.

The praise in the Psalms

issues in the consummate praise
with Hallelujahs
because the earth
has been fully recovered by God
and brought under the reign of Christ
with the kingdom. 

 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A key view of the New Testament (THE KINGDOM OF GOD)(1)





A KEY VIEW OF THE NEW TESTAMENT THE KINGDOM OF GOD(1)

I. THE DESIGNATIONS

The kingdom of God has many aspects, as revealed in the New Testament by the following different designations:

A. The Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God (Matt. 12:28) is a general term that refers to God’s reign (Matt. 6:10, 13b; Dan. 6:26b). Its scope is unlimited, comprising eternity past, the patriarchs, the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, the church in the New Testament in this age, the millennial kingdom in the coming age, and the new heaven and new earth in eternity future. The words spoken by the Lord in Matthew 21:43 and the parable preceding it in verses 33-41 show us that the kingdom of God was there with the children of Israel in the Old Testament, but due to their rejection of the Lord, it was given to the church in the New Testament.

B. The Kingdom of the Heavens

The kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 16:19) refers to the ruling of the heavens (Dan. 4:26). It began on the day of Pentecost when Christ poured out the Holy Spirit and established His church (Acts 2), and it will continue until the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7). Its scope is narrower than that of the kingdom of God, since it includes only the church in this age and the millennial kingdom in the coming age. It is a section within the kingdom of God; hence, it is also called the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15, cf. Matt. 4:17; Mark 4:11, cf. Matt. 13:11). The kingdom of the heavens has three aspects: its reality, its appearance, and its manifestation. Its reality and its appearance are the inward and outward aspects of the church in this age; its manifestation will be in the millennial kingdom in the coming age.

C. The Kingdom of God’s Beloved Son

The kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Col. 1:13) is composed of the church in this age, the millennial kingdom in the coming age, and the new heaven and new earth in eternity (cf. 2 Pet. 1:11). The emphasis in Colossians 1:13 is on the kingdom of God’s beloved Son in this age as the reality of the church, into which all the believers have been transferred (John 3:5).

D. The Kingdom of Christ and of God,the Kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ,and the Eternal Kingdom of the Lordand Savior Jesus Christ

The kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5), the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15), and the eternal kingdom of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:11), all refer to the millennial kingdom in the coming age and to the new heaven and new earth in eternity as His eternal kingdom which will be brought in by Christ’s second coming (Dan. 2:34-35, 44; Heb. 1:8). The overcoming believers in the church in this age, the defeated ones not included, will first enter into the millennial kingdom in the coming age to inherit the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens in the millennium as their reward; and then they, together with the believers who are defeated in this age but will be perfected in the millennium, will enter into the new heaven and new earth in eternity to enjoy the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth as their eternal portion.

E. The Kingdom of the Fatherand the Kingdom of the Son of Man

The kingdom of the Father mentioned in Matthew 13:43 and 26:29 refers to the heavenly part of the millennial kingdom in the coming age, which is the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens. Only the perfected saints in the Old Testament and the overcoming believers in the church in this age will be able to enter into and enjoy this kingdom (Heb. 12:23; 11:39-40; Matt. 8:11; 13:43). The kingdom of the Son of Man (Matt. 13:41) refers to the earthly part of the millennial kingdom in the coming age. It is the kingdom prepared for the nations who will be restored in the coming age as its people (Matt. 25:34). It is also the kingdom in which the restored kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6), that is, all Israel who will be saved in the future, will be the priests (See point III.B.1 in this lesson).

F. The Kingdom Preparedfrom the Foundation of the World

The kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34) is the earthly part of the millennial kingdom, in which the restored nations will dwell as the people (Matt. 25:46b).

 
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