Life-Study of 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Estherby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I would like to say a word about our need to be fundamental in a full and complete way and also about our need in our daily living to walk according to the compound, all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit.
I thank God that in 1 and 2 Chronicles there is a record showing us how God deals with His people in detail. God’s dealing with His people in the details of their living is for His people to enjoy the good land, Christ, in a very proper way. To enjoy the good land, the kings had to stand on the proper ground and they had to be fundamental, keeping the faith given by God through Moses.
It is the same with us today. The church ground is quite important, and to keep all the truths, to be fundamental, is also important. Today’s Christians claim to be fundamental, but they are fundamental only in part. They are not fundamental in full. Through the years we have been trying our best, by God’s mercy and grace, to be perfectly fundamental, that is, to be fundamental not just in part but in full.
Brother Watchman Nee, who was raised up by the Lord more than seventy years ago, read the Bible thoroughly again and again. The hundreds of missionaries who came to China from Europe and America were faithful in a sense, but they did not make clear to the Chinese Christians the basic truth of the assurance of salvation. The missionaries translated the Bible, preached from the Bible, and taught the Bible, but they did not point out that the believers in Christ could have and should have the assurance of their salvation. After Brother Nee was raised up by the Lord, he preached and taught the truth concerning the assurance of salvation, and I followed him to do this. Wherever we went we asked people if they knew whether or not they were saved. When we would ask this question, the pastors and preachers would laugh at us and tell us that we were proud for saying that we knew that we were saved. In this situation Brother Nee fought the battle for the truth concerning the assurance of salvation. Today millions of Chinese Christians everywhere believe in the assurance of salvation. They know that as long as they believe in the Lord Jesus, they are saved and may have the assurance that they have been saved. The situation now is very different from the situation when Brother Nee began to fight for this basic truth.
Brother Nee continued to fight for the truth, and eventually he released the truth regarding Christ as our life and our taking Christ as life. This was another truth which the missionaries in China did not make clear to the believers. Once the believers have the assurance of their salvation, they need to see that they have Christ in them as their life and that they should take Christ as their life and live by Christ.
During the past seventy-two years, in His recovery the Lord has gone on and on to recover many other truths. In particular, the Lord has recovered the truth concerning the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22. Many expositors of the Bible do not have the proper understanding of what the New Jerusalem is. Very few Bible teachers have written anything about the spiritual significance of the New Jerusalem. Among these few are a German teacher from long ago named Tersteegen and our dear friend T. Austin-Sparks, whom I regard as the last of the inner-life teachers. Like Tersteegen, T. Austin-Sparks saw that the New Jerusalem is not a physical city but a sign with a spiritual significance. Brother Sparks pointed out that the spiritual things concerning God, Christ, and the church are mysterious and that God uses signs to reveal the truth regarding such spiritual things. We took his word and still hold to it.
The book of Revelation opens with a word about signs: “The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show to His slaves the things that must quickly take place; and He made it known by signs, sending it by His angel to His slave John.” This indicates that the revelation in this book is composed of signs, that is, symbols with a spiritual significance, such as the seven lampstands, signifying the seven churches, and the Lamb, signifying Christ the Redeemer as the unique sacrifice to accomplish God’s eternal redemption. Even the New Jerusalem is a sign, the last and consummate sign, signifying the ultimate consummation of God’s economy. In the last fifty years, the truth concerning the New Jerusalem has become more and more clear to us. As a result, in our hymnal there are a number of hymns on the New Jerusalem.
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