Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the last three messages we have seen the meaning of the Sabbath rest according to the full revelation of the Holy Word. In brief, the Sabbath rest is simply God’s satisfaction in His heart’s desire. Whenever and wherever God is expressed and represented by man on earth, He is satisfied and at rest. As we have pointed out, the first Sabbath was after the creation of man, and the second Sabbath was after the completion of the building of the temple. Both of these Sabbaths were figures of God’s Sabbath, not the real Sabbath. After the Lord Jesus came to declare God, expressing and representing Him as an example and model, the church was produced by His death and resurrection and became the corporate expression and representation of God. When God has the church, He is truly expressed and represented. Undoubtedly, the church life is a real Sabbath to God. The church as the Sabbath rest is not a figure but a fulfillment of what was prefigured in the Old Testament. When God gained the church, He obtained a real Sabbath.
As we saw in the last message, the age of the church is just the sowing and growing stage. Regardless how long this stage may be according to our feeling, it is still one stage, the stage of sowing and growing. In this stage, God’s major task is to sow Himself into mankind and to make this part of mankind the church, the Body of Christ, the house of God. This part of mankind which has been injected with God Himself as life must grow in Christ and reach maturity. We must be very clear about this point. Why is God able to be satisfied in this age? Because in this age He is expressed and represented through the church.
In the New Testament we are clearly told that the church as the expression and representation of God is the kingdom of God on earth today (Rom. 14:17). Whoever receives Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is born into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Praise the Lord that the church is the kingdom of God today! Hebrews 12:28 says that we are receiving an unshakable kingdom. This verse does not say that we have received the kingdom or that we shall receive it; it says that we are in the process of receiving the kingdom. We cannot say that we have not received an amount of the kingdom, but our receiving of the kingdom has not yet been fully accomplished. The kingdom has already started and it is continuing.
In the church age we are in the growing Sabbath, in the Sabbath where Christ as life is growing. God’s heart is at least somewhat satisfied with this growing Sabbath, but it is not satisfied in full because it is just the growing stage, not the final stage, the stage of harvest. The book of Hebrews was written to encourage the wandering, hesitating, and staggering Hebrews to come into the proper church life, today’s Sabbath rest. But following this Sabbath, there is something still better—the harvest Sabbath. Both of these are real Sabbaths to God. Today God does have a true Sabbath in the church life. We never realized that there could be such a wonderful thing as the church life. But by His mercy, the Lord has opened our eyes, showing us the church life, which is something holy, heavenly, and spiritual that we can touch in our spirit and enjoy with the Lord as our Sabbath rest. Hallelujah, there is such a church life on earth today!
If we know the Bible and God’s economy, we shall realize that everyone who has been regenerated and has received salvation needs to come into the church life. This is God’s economy. If you do not come into the church life, you will miss the mark. God’s economy is not only that you be saved and regenerated; His economy is that you come into the proper church life, which is today’s Sabbath. God’s economy is to have a corporate expression and representation of Himself. God is very patient; He is fulfilling His economy progressively. Firstly, He has sown Himself into His chosen people and now He is giving them time to grow.
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