God’s Intention is to make His People the Reproduction of Christ for the Temple of God
It is the Lord’s mercy that today we can see the high peak of the divine revelation, which is that God became man to make man God for the building up of the Body of Christ as the organism of the Triune God for His corporate expression. This is God’s economy, which was hidden throughout the ages but today it has been revealed to us in spirit.
In Christianity you may hear a lot of things about godliness, sanctification, prosperity, doctrines, and teachings, but no one speaks of the central economy of God. Only when we see that God became man to make man God so that the Body of Christ may be produced and built up can we understand the Bible in a proper way and all things in the Bible make sense.
Paul calls God’s economy “the economy of the mystery” (Eph. 3:9–10). It is only by God’s becoming man to make man God that the Body of Christ can be produced and built up; this is the high peak of the divine revelation given to us by God (see Rom. 8:3; 1:3–4; 8:14, 16, 29; 12:4–5).
There are many mysteries in the Bible, and the key to unlock these mysteries is God’s economy. For example, why is there a Triune God? Why does God have to be Triune? It is so that He can dispense Himself into man; He doesn’t want to merely remain in the heavens but to be with man, among man, and in man as his life.
Why does the Bible start with a river, a tree, a man, and a woman, and ends with a river, a tree, a city, and a woman? The key to this mystery is God’s economy, and only if we know God’s dispensing do we understand what these two book-ends of the Bible speak of.
The Bible says that David was a man after God’s heart; what did he do to earn this? He married more than one woman, was a man of war, killed a lot of people, and did many other things — but in 2 Sam. 7 he wanted to build God a house, and even though God clearly said He doesn’t need a house built by man to dwell in, God was happy and blessed David, saying that his son will build him a house. David touched something of what’s on God’s heart, and God blessed him.
In Ezekiel we see a lot of judgements: God judges Israel and the nations, but the whole book ends with a house, God’s temple. What is the key to understand this?
In the New Testament Peter speaks of living stones and a spiritual house, Paul speaks of the building up of the Body, God’s temple, and John starts his gospel with Jacob’s ladder and ends it with the Father’s house (John 14), and in Revelation we see seven local churches in the beginning and the New Jerusalem as God’s building at the end as the consummation. What is the meaning of all these, and how can we understand all these mysteries?
Brothers and sisters, you are all blessed to be able to see this. This is a tremendous blessing. May the Lord fully rescue you and me out of religion, philosophy, and human ethics into this great vision of God becoming man and man becoming God. It is here that the Lord can have the saints as the members of Christ, the church as the Body of Christ, and the constitution of God-yet-man and man-yet-God as the one new man. Eventually, in the universe the divine glory as the eternal expression of God will be manifested brightly in man. (Witness Lee, The Dispensing, Transformation, and Building of the Processed Divine Trinity in the Believers, pp. 38–39)
God’s Intention is to make His People the Reproduction of Christ for the Temple of God
The Scriptures reveal that God’s intention, from the beginning to the end of the Bible, is to make His chosen, redeemed, and regenerated people the reproduction of Christ (the same as Christ) for the temple of God, the Body of Christ, as the corporate expression of the Triune God.
David touched something of this in the Old Testament and he was called “a man after God’s heart”, and many of the prophets tried to look into what is in God’s heart but didn’t see much….
In the New Testament, however, we see that God became man — Jesus Christ came as the God-man, and in Him the Father was pleased to the uttermost; He lived a God-man life, died, resurrected, and became a life-giving Spirit to enter into His people and regenerate them, renew them, transform them, and glorify them so that they would be the many sons of God for the temple of God, the Body of Christ as God’s corporate expression.
What we see in Romans is God’s full salvation, which is to make us — sinners — sons of God who have His life and nature to express Him, so that we may become members of the Body of Christ for His expression.
In Rom. 8 in particular we see the sonship: we are children of God having the Spirit witnessing with our spirit (Rom. 8:16), we are sons of God when we walk according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), and we are heirs of God when we’re fully mature in life (Rom. 8:23).
When we are regenerated by God we become children of God; as we grow in life and are being transformed in our soul we are sons of God, those who live by setting their mind on the spirit and are led by the Spirit; eventually, we will be fully matured in every part of our being to be glorified and be heirs of God for the full expression of God in the Body of Christ!
In the book of Hebrews we see that, through the function of the law of life, we become the reproduction of Christ as the firstborn Son of God to be the church, which is the living composition of the many sons of God (see Heb. 1:6; 2:10–12).
Through regeneration we received the divine life which comes with the law of life; this law operates in us spontaneously to conform us to the image of Christ and become the many sons of God (Heb. 2:10), the many brothers of Christ (Rom. 8:29), and the many grains (John 12:24) forming the Body of Christ, the expression of God.
Constantly and spontaneously the law of life in us operates to make us sons of God to be the church, the living organism of the Triune God, and the last step of our salvation is entering into glory to be the New Jerusalem, expressing God for eternity in a corporate way (see Heb. 2:10 and footnote).
In the book of Revelation we see that the church is the testimony of Jesus, the expression and testimony of the One who is the embodiment of God; the church is typified by the golden lampstand, the bride, and the New Jerusalem to be the enlarged Christ, the reproduction and expression of God (see Rev. 1:2, 5, 9, 12, 20).
Revelation starts with a vision of the seven golden lampstands, which are a type of the local churches, God’s building. Christ is realized as the Spirit, and the Spirit is expressed as the churches; the shining Spirit is the reality of the shining Christ, and the shining churches are the reproduction and expression of the shining Spirit to accomplish God’s eternal purpose so that the New Jerusalem as the shining city may be consummated.
Throughout the ages God in Christ has been working Himself as the Spirit into man to regenerate, sanctify, renew, transform, conform, and glorify man for the temple of God, the Body of Christ, the corporate expression of the Triune God, and in Revelation we see the consummation: the New Jerusalem, the building of God, God’s corporate expression of eternity!
The New Jerusalem is a constitution of God and man and man and God: God dwells in man and man dwells in God, and the One who is God yet man dwells in the one that is man yet God (in life and nature but not in the Godhead) for the mutual dwelling place of divinity with humanity. In the New Jerusalem God’s divine glory shines forth radiantly with great splendor in humanity!
Lord, may we see God’s intention to make us the reproduction of Christ for the Body of Christ, God’s corporate expression! Lord, thank You for making us from sinners into sons of God who are redeemed, regenerated, sanctified, renewed, transformed, and conformed to the image of Christ to be the same as God in life and nature for the building up of the Body of Christ! Amen! Lord, make us the reproduction of Christ as the Firstborn Son of God to be the church, the living composition of the many sons of God for God’s corporate expression!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, bro. Andrew Yu’s sharing in the message for this week, and The Dispensing, Transformation, and Building of the Processed Divine Trinity in the Believers, pp. 38–39 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Church as the Temple of God — The Goal of God’s Eternal Economy (2015 Thanksgiving Conference), week 4 / msg. 4, The Economy of God, the Temple of God, and the High Peak of the Divine Revelation.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# What miracle! What mystery! / That God and man should blended be! / God became man to make man God, / Untraceable economy! / From His good pleasure, heart’s desire, / His highest goal attained will be. / From His good pleasure, heart’s desire, / His highest goal attained will be. (Song on God’s Economy)
# We’re Thy total reproduction, / Thy dear Body and Thy Bride, / Thine expression and Thy fulness, / For Thee ever to abide. / We are Thy continuation, / Thy life-increase and Thy spread, / Thy full growth and Thy rich surplus, / One with Thee, our glorious Head. (Hymns #203)
# The divine Trinity spreads through our soul, / To saturate our whole being, life’s goal; / We become members, the Body of Christ, / Built up together by Christ’s saving life. (Song on being members in the Body)
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Originally published on A God-man in Christ