Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The basic numbers in New Jerusalem are the numbers twelve and one. One is the unique number. There is one God, one city, one throne, one street, one river, and one tree of life. Hence, the number one is the basic number of the church and of God’s building in His economy. This is not my concept; it is Paul’s concept in Ephesians 4:3-6, where he speaks of one Body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father. We have just one God, one throne, one administration, one authority, one flow, one way, and one tree. If we have seen this, we shall be kept forever in this oneness.
This oneness issues from the unique God, the One who is the source of everything. The throne, the river, the street, and the tree all issue out of Him. He is the unique source of everything to produce, support, sustain, and keep the unique building of the one God.
The situation of today’s Christianity is vastly different from this. Christianity is filled with confusion and division. There are thousands of divisions in today’s Christianity. No one knows how many divisions have taken place in the so-called free groups. In the free groups nearly everybody claims to be something. How we thank the Lord that He has opened our eyes and shown us His unique way! We have nothing other than the unique God on the unique throne with the unique flow with the unique life supply. Therefore, we have one testimony and we are in one church.
The church is constituted of both divinity and humanity; it is one corporate entity of both God and man. This entity is both God’s dwelling and our abode, for now we abide in God, and God abides in us. The church life today is a miniature of the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth. We in the church can testify that we are truly one. We are one in God, one in His authority, one in His expression, one in the flow, one in the life, and one in the tree. In this oneness we abide in God, God abides in us, and thus we become His testimony.
In this message we shall cover the enjoyment and blessing of God’s redeemed in eternity. The first crucial item of our enjoyment in eternity will be the holy city (22:14, 19). Revelation 22:19 says, “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.” This indicates that having a part in the holy city means a great deal to us.
The holy city in which we shall participate and which we shall enjoy is God mingled with all His saints. In this one entity, the holy city, we shall not only enjoy God; we shall also enjoy God in all the saints. We shall enjoy God in one another, and we shall enjoy one another in God. I shall enjoy you in God, and you will enjoy me in God. Although this enjoyment is rather mysterious, we have a foretaste of it in the church life today, where we enjoy God in one another and one another in God. What a divine, heavenly communal life this is!
Man was created by God with the desire for a communal life. Our human nature longs for a community life. In order to fulfill this desire, people attend nightclubs and parties. However, nightclubs and parties cannot meet this need. Although people hunger and thirst for a proper communal life, they are poisoned by the clubs and parties of the world. Instead of receiving the proper drink to quench their thirst, they are poisoned. There is only one kind of party that is pure, happy, nourishing, enlightening, satisfying, and edifying, and that is the church. Day after day, we in the church life are attending a heavenly party. This party is holy, divine, and spiritual. It is the party of God mingled with man. What an enjoyment it is to attend this party!
Through my experience in the church life of nearly fifty years, I have come to know the disposition of the young people. Young people are sharp and quite demanding, and they can pierce into the hearts of their parents or of the elders in the church. All the elders are targets for the arrows of the young people. Often I have said to some of these sharp young people, “If the church and the elders are not pleasant in your eyes, why don’t you go off somewhere, to the mountains, perhaps, and live by yourselves? Then you will no longer be troubled by the church or the elders.” They replied that because they enjoy the fellowship in the church life, they would never leave the church.
Our desire for a communal life cannot be fully satisfied even by our married life or family life. You may have many brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives, but they cannot satisfy your inward desire for a community life. This desire, a desire for the church life and a desire created by God, can be satisfied only in the church.
We Christians are like sheep flocking together. Years ago I observed some flocks of sheep in Scotland. I noticed that the sheep enjoyed flocking together. They traveled together, ate together, and lay down together. They were always together as a flock. We Christians also have such a desire, the desire for the church life.
How we enjoy God in the church life! Some may say, “God is omnipresent, and I can enjoy Him anywhere. I can enjoy Him at home or on the street. I don’t need the church life to enjoy God.” We can testify that there is no comparison between the enjoyment of God in the church and the enjoyment of God apart from the church. Yes, you may enjoy God anywhere, but not in the way we enjoy Him in the church. In the church life we are beside ourselves with the enjoyment of the Lord. The church life is a life of God mingled with man. In this wonderful mingled life, we daily enjoy God in all the dear saints, and we enjoy the dear saints in God. This enjoyment is the first aspect of our eternal portion in the holy city. The enjoyment of this city, which is a composition of God mingled with all the saints, is our eternal portion. In this holy city God and the Lamb will be our dwelling for rest (21:3). In the holy city we also enjoy God and the Lamb as our temple for serving and worshipping God (21:22).
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