11. The Vision of the All-sufficient One—the Divine View of God’s People
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  • 08-24,
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Scripture Reading: Num. 23:7-12, 19-26; 24:3-9; Rev. 21:9-10; Acts 26:19
Ⅰ We should never underestimate the value of having a proper view of a certain matter; the view changes us; it affects our entire being—Rev. 21:9-10; Acts 26:19.
Ⅱ In the Bible vision denotes an extraordinary scene; it refers to a special kind of seeing—a glorious, inward seeing—and to the spiritual scenery we see from God—Ezek. 1:1, 4-28; Dan. 7:1, 9-10, 13-14:

A In order to have a vision, we need revelation, light, and sight—Eph. 1:17-18a.
B The heavenly vision governs us, restricts us, controls us, directs us, preserves us, revolutionizes us, keeps us in the genuine oneness, and gives us the boldness to go on—Prov. 29:18a.
C Under the heavenly vision we are directed toward God’s destination, and our life is controlled according to God’s economy—Phil. 3:13-14; 1 Tim. 1:4.
 
 
Ⅲ Like Balaam, a Gentile prophet who was brought into a vision, we need to see the vision of the All-sufficient One and have a divine view of God’s people—Num. 23:7-12, 19-26; 24:3-9:
A The prophet Balaam heard the words of God and saw the vision of the All-sufficient One—v. 4; Gen. 17:1, footnote 2.
B “From the top of the rocks I see him, / And from the hills I behold him. / Here is a people who live alone / And do not reckon themselves among the nations”—Num. 23:9:
1 This word indicates that the children of Israel were a holy people, a sanctified people set apart from the nations.
2 The same is true of the church—1 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 1:4; 5:27; 1 Pet. 2:9.
C “Who can count the dust of Jacob, / Or number the fourth part of Israel? / Let me die the death of the upright, / And let my latter end be like theirs!”—Num. 23:10:
1 Balaam’s word in verse 10a was a blessing of abundant increase.
2 His word in verse 10b was a word of great blessing and appreciation.
D “He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, / Nor has He seen trouble in Israel; / Jehovah their God is with them, / And the shout of a king is among them”—v. 21:
1 This word was spoken not according to the human view but according to the divine view.
2 In the sight of God, Israel is without fault:
a In themselves God’s people have many defects.
b In God’s redemption and in Christ they have no defects.
3 When God looks at His people, He does not see them according to what they are in themselves but according to what they are in Christ—cf. 2 Cor. 5:16-17.
E “How fair are your tents, O Jacob, / Your tabernacles, O Israel!”—Num. 24:5:
1 Balaam’s first parable reveals that Israel is holy (23:9); the second, that Israel is perfect (v. 21); and the third, that Israel is beautiful, as indicated by the word fair (24:5).
2 This will be the actual condition of Israel in the millennium:
a God promised that the descendants of Abraham would be a blessing to all the nations—Gen. 12:2-3.
b Eventually, the Jews will be fully blessed by God, and they will be a blessing to the entire human race—Isa. 2:2-3; Zech. 8:20-23.
3 Balaam’s parables also indicate that in its standing the church is holy, in the sight of God the church is perfect, and in appearance the church is beautiful, fair—cf. Eph. 5:27:
a The church is sanctified, perfect, and beautiful when it is full of Christ—3:15-21; 4:13, 15.
b Christ is the content, the constituent, and every part of the church as the new man—Col. 3:10-11.
F “Like valleys they are spread forth, / Like gardens beside a river, / Like aloes which Jehovah has planted, / Like cedars beside water. / Water shall flow from his buckets, / And his seed shall be in many waters”—Num. 24:6-7a:
1 The word concerning valleys and gardens in verse 6 and concerning water flowing from buckets in verse 7 reveals figuratively that the church has valleys (Rev. 2:9-10), that the church is like a garden (1 Cor. 3:9b), and that in the church there is an abundance of water (12:13; cf. John 7:38-39).
2 These are some of the riches concerning the church.
G Balaam’s word in Numbers 24:7b about Jacob’s king being higher than Agag and about Jacob’s kingdom being exalted is a prophecy that eventually has its fulfillment in Christ.
H “Blessed is everyone who blesses you, / And cursed is everyone who curses you”—v. 9b:
1 Instead of cursing God’s people, Balaam, speaking on behalf of God, altogether blessed them.
2 To bless a person is to speak well of him, to speak positively concerning him—Eph. 1:3.
3 The more we praise the Lord for His people and speak well of them in faith, the more we put ourselves under God’s blessing:
a Those who speak positively concerning the church receive the blessing.
b Those who speak negatively put themselves under a curse.

Ⅳ We need to have a vision concerning the church and see that the church is “Christly,” “resurrectionly,” and heavenly; these adjectives describe the facts conveyed in the Bible—vv. 17-23; 2:5-6:
A The church is a matter in Christ, in resurrection, and in ascension in the heavenlies—vv. 5-6:
1 After Christ terminated the entire old creation through His all-inclusive death, the church was produced in His resurrection; the church is absolutely in resurrection, a new creation created in Christ’s resurrection and by the resurrected Christ—1 Pet. 1:3; Eph. 2:6.
2 The church has been resurrected with Christ, and now the church is in ascension, in the heavenlies, with Christ—v. 6.
3 The church is of Christ, the church is of resurrection, and the church is of the heavens.
B Such a vision will govern us to the uttermost and rule out everything that is not Christly (of Christ), resurrectionly (of resurrection), or heavenly (of the heavens)—Acts 26:19.

Ⅴ We need to learn that the way we look at God’s people is a serious matter:
A Joseph’s two dreams, both from God, unveiled to him God’s divine view concerning the nature, position, function, and goal of God’s people on earth—Gen. 37:5-9:
1 In his first dream Joseph saw sheaves in the field (vv. 7-8); if we see this heavenly dream, then we see that in God’s view all His people are sheaves full of life to produce food for the meal offering to satisfy God and man (Lev. 2:4-5).
2 In his second dream Joseph saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to him; in God’s eternal view, His people are heavenly bodies full of light—Gen. 37:9; cf. Rev. 12:1.
3 If we praise the Lord for His saints being full of life and light, we will be the first to participate in life—Gen. 12:2-3; Num. 24:9.
B In Numbers 33, the record of the forty-two stations of the journey of the Israelites from the land of slavery to the land of rest, there is no mention of the failures of the people:
1 If we had only the record in Numbers 33, we would think that in their journey the children of Israel were altogether aggressive, positive, and successful, going from station to station until they reached their goal—the land of rest:
a After reading Numbers 1 through 32, we may have the opinion that there was nothing good with the children of Israel.
b Numbers 33 shows that in the eyes of God the record regarding them is positive.
c This indicates that, in His view, God always considers His people in a positive way.
2 We need to view the church in a heavenly way and realize that all the local churches are parts of the coming New Jerusalem—Rev. 1:10-12, 20; 21:2, 9-11.
3 If we have God’s view of His people, we will see them as God sees them—chosen, redeemed, saved from the bondage of the fall, enjoying Christ, being built up with the Triune God, formed into an army to fight for God, and prepared by God to possess the all-inclusive Christ as the good land—Eph. 1:4-7, 11-12; 2:6, 8, 13-16, 21-22; 3:8, 15-21; 4:12-13, 16, 23-24; 5:27; 6:10-18.
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