1. Cooperating with God to Carry Out His Move in His Economy by Knowing This Age and by Knowing the Present Truth
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Scripture Reading: Ezek. 1:15-21; John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17; Exo. 30:23-25; Rom. 8:2, 9-11; Isa. 30:26; Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6; 2 Pet. 1:12; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2

Ezek 1:15      And as I watched the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of their four faces.

Ezek 1:16      The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship were like the sight of beryl. And the four of them had one likeness; that is, their appearance and their workmanship were as it were a wheel within a wheel.

Ezek 1:17      Whenever they went, they went in their four directions; they did not turn as they went.

Ezek 1:18      As for their rims, they were high and they were awesome; and the rims of the four of them were full of eyes all around.

Ezek 1:19      And whenever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and whenever the living creatures were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up also.

Ezek 1:20      Wherever the Spirit was to go, they went-wherever the Spirit was to go. And the wheels were lifted up alongside them, for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Ezek 1:21      Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still; and whenever those were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up alongside them; for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

John 7:37      Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

John 7:38      He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:39      But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

 

1 Cor 15:45b …the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

2 Cor 3:17     And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Exo 30:23     You also take the finest spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred fifty shekels, and of fragrant calamus two hundred fifty shekels,

Exo 30:24     And of cassia five hundred shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil.

Exo 30:25     And you shall make it a holy anointing oil, a fragrant ointment compounded according to the work of a compounder; it shall be a holy anointing oil.

Rom 8:2        For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.

Rom 8:9        But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Yet if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him.

Rom 8:10      But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom 8:11      And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

Isa  30:26     And the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, / And the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, / On the day when Jehovah binds up the breach of His people / And heals the wound left from His stroke.

Rev 1:4         John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Rev 3:1         And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead.

Rev 4:5         And out of the throne come forth lightnings and voices and thunders. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

2 Pet 1:12      Therefore I will be ready always to remind you concerning these things, even though you know them and have been established in the present truth.

Rev 19:7       Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

Rev 19:8       And it was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.

Rev 19:9       And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they who are called to the marriage dinner of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true words of God.

Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I.     In the book of Ezekiel God’s economy and God’s move in His economy are signified by a high and awesome wheel—1:15-21:

Ezek 1:15      And as I watched the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of their four faces.

Ezek 1:16      The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship were like the sight of beryl. And the four of them had one likeness; that is, their appearance and their workmanship were as it were a wheel within a wheel.

Ezek 1:17      Whenever they went, they went in their four directions; they did not turn as they went.

Ezek 1:18      As for their rims, they were high and they were awesome; and the rims of the four of them were full of eyes all around.

Ezek 1:19      And whenever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and whenever the living creatures were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up also.

Ezek 1:20      Wherever the Spirit was to go, they went-wherever the Spirit was to go. And the wheels were lifted up alongside them, for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

Ezek 1:21      Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still; and whenever those were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up alongside them; for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

A.     The hub of this great wheel signifies Christ as the center of God’s economy, and the rim signifies Christ’s counterpart, the church, which consummates in the New Jerusalem; the spokes of the wheel spreading from the hub to the rim signify the many believers as the members of Christ.

B.     The appearing of the wheels on the earth beside the living creatures indicates that God’s move on earth follows the coordination of the four living creatures.

C.     God’s move is the move of His economy in man to deify man to bring forth the one new man so that God in Christ may have His corporate expression and administration—vv. 10, 13, 15, 26-27; Eph. 2:15; 4:22-24; Col. 3:10-11.

Ezek 1:10      As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle.

Ezek 1:13      As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches; the fire went to and fro among the living creatures, and the fire was bright; and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Ezek 1:15      And as I watched the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of their four faces.

Ezek 1:26      And above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, like the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was One in appearance like a man, above it.

Ezek 1:27      Then I saw something like the sight of electrum, like the appearance of fire encased all around, from the appearance of His loins and upward; and from the appearance of His loins and downward, I saw something like the appearance of fire. And there was brightness all around Him.

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 4:22       That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph 4:23       And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

D.     Every local church and every individual believer should have a high and awesome wheel with them—cf. Acts 13:1-2.

Acts 13:1      Now there were in Antioch, in the local church, prophets and teachers: Barnabas and Simeon, who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 13:2      And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for Me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

E.      The wheels following the living creatures indicates that the move of God’s work depends upon our moving; it also indicates that if we move in faith, the Lord will follow our move—Ezek. 1:19; 2 Cor. 5:7; 4:13, 18; cf. Eccl. 11:4.

Ezek 1:19      And whenever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and whenever the living creatures were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up also.

2 Cor 5:7       (For we walk by faith, not by appearance)—

2 Cor 4:13     And having the same spirit of faith according to that which is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we also speak,

2 Cor 4:18     Because we do not regard the things which are seen but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Eccl 11:4       He who watches the wind will not sow, and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

F.      The wheels follow the living creatures (Ezek. 1:19, 21), and the creatures follow the Spirit, but the Spirit is in the wheels:

Ezek 1:19      And whenever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and whenever the living creatures were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up also.

Ezek 1:21      Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still; and whenever those were lifted up above the earth, the wheels were lifted up alongside them; for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

1. This indicates that the move of the Lord in our move is in the principle of incarnation—v. 20; cf. 1 Cor. 7:10, 12.

Ezek 1:20      Wherever the Spirit was to go, they went-wherever the Spirit was to go. And the wheels were lifted up alongside them, for the Spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

1 Cor 7:10     But to the married I charge, not I but the Lord, A wife must not be separated from her husband

1 Cor 7:12     But to the rest I say, I, not the Lord, If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she consents to dwell with him, he must not leave her;

2. This is the Lord’s move on earth today, and this is the Lord’s recovery.

II.   If we are going to cooperate with the Lord to carry out His move in His economy, we must know this age; to know this age is to know the age of today’s Christianity in a particular way, especially in relation to the revelation of the Scriptures, the divine truths, and the genuine and proper theology:

A.     Not one of today’s theologies, including the Nicene Creed, stresses adequately the following five critical points concerning the Spirit of God in the move of God’s eternal economy:

1. The Spirit that gives life was not yet before the glorification (resurrection) of Christ—John 7:37-39.

John 7:37      Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

John 7:38      He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:39      But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

2. The last Adam (Christ in the flesh) became a life-giving Spirit (fulfilling John 7:39)—1 Cor. 15:45b; hence, 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that “the Lord is the Spirit,” and the following verse uses the Lord Spirit as a compound divine title.

John 7:39      But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

1 Cor 15:45b …the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

2 Cor 3:17     And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 Cor 3:18     But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.

3. The compound Spirit is typified by the anointing ointment (a compound of one hin of olive oil with four kinds of spices and their effectiveness) in Exodus 30:23-25.

Exo 30:23     You also take the finest spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred fifty shekels, and of fragrant calamus two hundred fifty shekels,

Exo 30:24     And of cassia five hundred shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil.

Exo 30:25     And you shall make it a holy anointing oil, a fragrant ointment compounded according to the work of a compounder; it shall be a holy anointing oil.

4. The Spirit of life, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, Christ Himself, and the indwelling Spirit in Romans 8:2, 9-11, all refer to the compound Spirit that gives life.

Rom 8:2        For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.

Rom 8:9        But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Yet if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him.

Rom 8:10      But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom 8:11      And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

5. The Spirit of God in the move of God’s eternal economy is the seven Spirits (the sevenfold intensified Spirit, cf. the sevenfold sunlight—Isa. 30:26) of God—Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6.

Isa  30:26     And the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, / And the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, / On the day when Jehovah binds up the breach of His people / And heals the wound left from His stroke.

Rev 1:4         John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Rev 3:1         And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead.

Rev 4:5         And out of the throne come forth lightnings and voices and thunders. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

B.     The Catholic Church, the Protestant denominations, the Brethren assemblies, the Pentecostal churches, and all the free groups are held back by their imperfect and unscriptural theology from the central revelation of God and come short of the completion of God’s eternal economy because of their missing, negligence of, and opposition to the above five critical points concerning the Spirit of God.

C.     God must have a people who are the God-men to be His overcomers for Him to accomplish His eternal economy concerning the church issuing in the Body of Christ and consummating the New Jerusalem.

III.  Second Peter 1:12 mentions the words the present truth:

2 Pet 1:12      Therefore I will be ready always to remind you concerning these things, even though you know them and have been established in the present truth.

A.     All the truths are in the Bible, but through man’s foolishness, unfaithfulness, negligence, and disobedience, many truths were lost and were hidden from man; freshly revealed truths are not God’s new inventions; rather, they are man’s new discoveries.

B.     Every worker of the Lord should inquire before God as to what the present truth is; we need to ask God, “God, what is the present truth?”

C.     We know that God’s truths are cumulative; later truths do not negate former ones.

D.     All the past truths of God form the foundation of the truths today; what we see today are the cumulative revelations of God.

E.      When God opens our eyes to see this fact, we begin to realize that we are living in the tide of God’s will; this tide is a continuation of all the past works of God in the previous ages.

F.      May God be gracious to us so that we do not become the castaways of “the present truth”; may we be watchful, and may we not allow the flesh to come in or the self to gain any ground; may God’s will be accomplished in us.

IV.  The present truth is both the central revelation of God and the Lord’s present recovery:

A.     If we are asked to explain what the recovery is today, we should be able to answer in one simple sentence: The Lord’s recovery is God becoming the flesh, the flesh becoming the life-giving Spirit, and the life-giving Spirit becoming the sevenfold intensified Spirit to build up the church that becomes the Body of Christ and that consummates the New Jerusalem.

B.     This is the full ministry of Christ in three stages (incarnation, inclusion, and intensification), and this is the central revelation of God and the present truth:

1. In the first stage, the stage of His incarnation, from His human birth to His death, He brought the infinite God into the finite man, He united and mingled the Triune God with the tripartite man, He expressed in His humanity the bountiful God in His rich attributes through His aromatic virtues, and He accomplished His all-inclusive judicial redemption—John 1:1, 14; Matt. 1:18, 20; John 5:19; 4:34; 17:4; 14:10, 24; 5:30; 7:18; 1:29; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.

John 1:1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.

Matt 1:18      Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.

Matt 1:20      But while he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.

John 5:19      Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing from Himself except what He sees the Father doing, for whatever that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 4:34      Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.

John 17:4      I have glorified You on earth, finishing the work which You have given Me to do.

John 14:10    Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works.

John 14:24    He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.

John 5:30      I can do nothing from Myself; as I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 7:18      He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him, this One is true, and unrighteousness is not in Him.

John 1:29      The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Eph 1:7         In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace,

1 Pet 1:18      Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,

1 Pet 1:19      But with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ;

2. In the second stage, the stage of His inclusion, from His resurrection to the degradation of the church, He was begotten by God to be God’s firstborn Son, He became the life-giving Spirit, and He regenerated the believers for His Body—Acts 13:33; 1 Cor. 15:45b; 1 Pet. 1:3.

Acts 13:33    That God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, "You are My Son; today I have begotten You."

1 Cor 15:45b …the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

1 Pet 1:3        Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

3. In the third stage, the stage of His intensification, from the degradation of the church to the consummation of the New Jerusalem, He intensifies His organic salvation, He produces the overcomers, and He consummates the New Jerusalem—Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6; 2:1-7; 19:7-9; 21:2.

Rev 1:4         John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Rev 3:1         And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead.

Rev 4:5         And out of the throne come forth lightnings and voices and thunders. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Rev 2:1         To the messenger of the church in Ephesus write: These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, He who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

Rev 2:2         I know your works and your labor and your endurance and that you cannot bear evil men; and you have tried those who call themselves apostles and are not, and have found them to be false;

Rev 2:3         And you have endurance and have borne all things because of My name and have not grown weary.

Rev 2:4         But I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love.

Rev 2:5         Remember therefore where you have fallen from and repent and do the first works; but if not, I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.

Rev 2:6         But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Rev 2:7         He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

Rev 19:7       Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

Rev 19:8       And it was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.

Rev 19:9       And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they who are called to the marriage dinner of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true words of God.

Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

4. We need to do a work of three sections: a work in the stage of incarnation to produce redeemed people, a work in the stage of inclusion to produce the churches, and a work in the stage of intensification to produce the overcomers to build up the Body, which consummates in the New Jerusalem as the unique goal of God’s economy.

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