Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This message is the continuation of the previous one.
As we have already pointed out, jasper is the appearance of God. The fact that the building material of the entire wall is jasper indicates that New Jerusalem, as the corporate expression of God in eternity, bears the appearance of God. This city is unified in appearance on all four sides. This indicates that all differences have vanished and that the city is the unique expression of the Triune God. This is vastly different from the concept of many Christians, who think that we all should be different and express Christ in different ways. According to this concept, you express Christ in your way, and I express Christ in my way. In the past I was taught that both the individual believers and the churches should be different from one another and that no church should be the same as others. I was not only taught this way, but I also preached it myself. I said that we should not imitate or copy others. Using our faces as an illustration, I said that every face is unique. But by studying the book of Revelation again, I saw that the seven lampstands are exactly the same. If all seven were placed on the table in front of you, you would not be able to tell them apart. Each lampstand would lose its identity. When I saw that, my point of view was radically revolutionized, and I said to myself, “What a mistaken concept I received from those who foolishly said that the seven churches are different! Yes, they are different in the negative aspects. Certainly the church in Philadelphia did not have the idols found in Thyatira. But on the positive side, they are all the same. They have one God and one Christ.” I had truly been enlightened.
From that day onward, the Lord has pointed out this matter to me again and again, eventually showing me the four sides of the wall of New Jerusalem. Each side is the same in appearance. Although perhaps millions of jasper stones have been fit together to form the wall, every side of the wall has the same expression. Each side is the same in material, in substance, in color, and in appearance. Hence, we all must be alike. I must be like you, and you must be like me. Ultimately, we shall be so much like one another that we shall lose our identity. Seeing this enables us to understand Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 1:10: “But I beseech you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion.” We must say the same thing and be attuned to the same opinion. This does not mean that we are controlled by anyone. None of the jasper stones built into the wall of New Jerusalem is controlled. They are the same in substance, in color, in appearance, in brightness, and in glory because they have been transformed by the same life. Thus, we all must imitate one another and copy one another. The sisters must imitate the brothers, and the brothers must copy the sisters. This does not mean to copy the natural characteristics of others. It means to copy the jasper, to copy the substance, the color, and the appearance.
Jasper is not a substance that was merely created by God. First it was created, and then it was transformed. All precious transparent stones, especially diamonds, are transformed substances. Diamond is carbon that has been transformed through heat and pressure into a pure crystal. None of us was created jasper. Rather, we were created clay (Gen. 2:7). Praise the Lord that we have been regenerated and that we are being transformed! Many of us are daily undergoing the process of transformation. Eventually, we shall be precious stones. We shall be jasper, possessing the life of God and bearing the appearance of God. We shall have the very element of God and the same appearance as He. God looks like jasper, and we also shall look like jasper. When we look at one another, we shall see in one another the appearance of God. Even the least one among us will look like God.
Do you think that, after we all have the substance, color, and appearance of jasper, we shall still debate or hold differing opinions? Certainly not! The New Jerusalem may be called a jasper city; it is not a city of wood. One day this city will appear bearing a bright green color to express God. In New Jerusalem we shall not express a German character, a British character, a Chinese character, an American character, or any other human character. Instead, we shall express the unique character, the divine character, which is God Himself in His appearance. The church today must also be like this. In such a church we all express God.
We have seen that the city of New Jerusalem is solidly and substantially golden. This indicates that the whole church should be solidly and substantially of the divine nature. This is the content of the church. The church must not have anything other than God Himself in His nature as its substance and content. Now we also see that the wall of the city bears God’s appearance. To all people and to the whole universe the church must express God Himself.
The building of the church depends upon the substantial content of the church life. If the content is not God Himself, it will be impossible to have the genuine and proper building. But if our content is the divine nature, this content will transform us and even conform us to His image. Through this transformation, all our different concepts, views, and opinions will be swallowed up. This is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, as mentioned in Romans 12:2. The mind is renewed by the content of the church, the divine nature. When the divine nature occupies the inner part of the church and becomes its content, it will renew our mind and swallow up our different understandings, concepts, views, and opinions. The more the divine nature fills us from within, the more our concepts and opinions are spontaneously laid aside. As a result we no longer have a natural understanding of things. Rather, our concept is according to the divine nature. Hence, spontaneously we become of the same mind and opinion, we speak the same thing, and we have the unique expression, the appearance of God, and we are built up in this expression.
Suppose you cling to your natural concept, and I hold to my natural view. Both your concept and my view may be very good, not at all sinful. But because our concepts are different, they cannot be of the same jasper. However, when we are both filled with the divine nature and swallowed up by it, our concepts will be changed, and we shall all be of the same jasper. Then we shall have one mind, one concept, and one opinion. This is the way to be built into the church. We must drop all our different expressions that we may be built into the same wall and may all have the unique expression of God.
The church cannot be built through our efforts to be kind and patient with one another. Building is not a matter of my giving a little ground to you and of your giving ground to me. That is ethical behavior, something like the teaching of Confucius; it is not the teaching of the Bible. Genuine building is to be swallowed up by the divine nature and occupied, filled, saturated, and permeated with the divine nature. For this to take place, we must love the Lord and consecrate ourselves to Him without reservation, telling Him, “Lord, I don’t want to keep anything of myself. I want to give my whole being to You and let You take full possession of me and occupy me to the uttermost. Lord, fill me with Yourself.” This is the right way. Being built up in the church is not a matter of trying to love different kinds of people, or of trying to enlarge our heart to include those of a different disposition. This is a natural concept. What is needed is to have our disposition, whether it be American, Chinese, British, or German, swallowed up and replaced by the divine gold. If you are filled with the divine gold, your heart will be larger than Solomon’s (1 Kings 4:29), because it will be as big as God’s heart. When we are filled and permeated with the divine nature, we all have the same expression and appearance, for we all have the same opinion and speak the same thing. When we all have the same expression, we have the appearance of God, symbolized in the book of Revelation by jasper. This is the expression of the church life.
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