Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we consider the outpouring of the seven bowls, I want to say a further word concerning God on the throne and God in the temple. Most Christians, including many of us in the Lord’s recovery, know God only as the God on the throne. They know little of God as the God in the temple. It is rather easy to know God as the One on the throne because this fits our natural concept. However, in order to know God as the God in the temple, we must have a heavenly vision.
In the Bible God is firstly revealed as God on the throne. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people gradually realized that God is the mighty One on the throne. God’s throne is for His dominion. Eventually, the revelation in the Bible leads us from the throne of God’s government to the temple of God’s expression. In the Old Testament we see God in His temple. In the New Testament we also see God in His house, His temple, the church. Ultimately, in the consummation of the Bible, the book of Revelation, the throne and the temple are combined (16:17). In Revelation we see God on the throne in the New Jerusalem (22:1).
Most Christians today know God only as the God on the throne. In their prayers and praises they are conscious of God as the One sitting on His throne. They are assured that even if the world were flooded with water, God would still be on the throne. Although we have often heard prayers directed to God on the throne and although we have hymns concerning God’s being on the throne, it is difficult to find a hymn saying that God is not only on the throne, but also in the temple. Few Christians have the vision of God as the One in the temple.
God is on the throne for His administration, but He is in the temple for His expression. God’s eternal purpose is not to be on the throne—it is to be in the temple. Because the throne of God has been eternally established, existing from eternity to eternity (Psa. 45:6), there is no need for it to be built. However, God’s temple requires a great deal of building work. God’s desire is not simply to be on the throne. He has been on the throne since eternity past. God desires a temple, an expression. Although every Christian knows that God is the mighty One on the throne, not many Christians realize that God today needs a temple, a church, a building, for His expression. Thus, in this country we have been sounding the trumpet about this matter for more than fourteen years. However, even among us, not many in their praises speak of God’s being in His temple. Rather, they praise God as the One on the throne. Have you ever praised God in the way of recognizing His desire to have the temple?
To repeat, the whole Bible firstly reveals God as the One on the throne. Gradually it reveals God’s desire to have a temple. The ultimate and consummate temple will be the New Jerusalem. As we have pointed out, the New Jerusalem will not only be God’s temple; it will also be the Holy of Holies. For eternity in the New Jerusalem, God will be in the Lamb on the throne. He will be the God on the throne in His temple, having His dominion with His full expression for eternity. Everything God is doing today is for this. This is the reason we say that we are not merely for individual salvation, but for corporate church building. Again I say that God’s intention is to have this temple. God’s throne is for His temple; that is, His administration is for His expression. Ultimately, in the New Jerusalem the river of water of life will flow from God’s throne to supply the entire city. Therefore, the New Jerusalem will be the consummation of God flowing from the throne.
Revelation 16:2 says, “And the first went and poured out his bowl into the earth; and there came an evil and malignant sore upon the men who have the mark of the beast and worship his image.” In His last fury God will mark the rebellious ones with a sore on their skin because they bear the mark of the beast. This mark will be like a malignant cancer. At that time God may seem to say, “Because you bear the mark of My enemy, the beast, I shall put a mark on you.” I do not believe that this sore will come upon the Americans, but on the citizens of the Roman Empire under Antichrist, who bear the name of Antichrist or the number of his name.
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