6. The Universal History according to God’s Economy— the Divine History within the Human History to Fulfill the Lord’s Heart’s Desire to Have the One New Man in Reality
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Hymns:

Scripture Reading: Joel 1:4; 3:11; Eph. 1:3-6; 2:15; 4:22-24; Micah 5:2; Rev. 19:7-9

Joel 1:4         What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; / And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; / And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten.

Joel 3:11       Hurry and come, / All you surrounding nations, / And be gathered. / There cause Your mighty ones to descend, O Jehovah!

Eph. 1:3        Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ,

Eph. 1:4        Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,

Eph. 1:5        Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Eph. 1:6        To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved;

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.

Micah 5:2      (But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, / So little to be among the thousands of Judah, / From you there will come forth to Me / He who is to be Ruler in Israel; / And His goings forth are from ancient times, / From the days of eternity.)

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.

 

I.     In this universe there are two histories: the history of man, the human history, and the history of God, the divine history; the former is like an outward shell, and the latter, like the kernel within the shell—cf. Joel 1:4:

Joel 1:4         What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; / And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; / And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten.

A.     The divine history within the human history is revealed in the Bible in considerable detail; God’s history is our history because He is in union with us:

1. We need to see God’s history in eternity past as a preparation for His move to be in union with man:

a. The divine history began with the eternal God and His economy; according to His economy, God wants to work Himself into man to be one with man, to be man’s life, life supply, and everything, and to have man as His expression—Eph. 3:9-10; 1:10; Gen. 1:26; 2:9.

Eph. 3:9        And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things,

Eph. 3:10      In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church,

Eph. 1:10      Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him;

Gen. 1:26      And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

b. God in His Divine Trinity held a council in eternity to make the determination concerning the crucial death of Christ for the carrying out of God’s eternal economy—Acts 2:23.

Acts 1:23      And they proposed two, Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

c. The second of the Divine Trinity was preparing to carry out His “goings forth” from eternity into time to be born in Bethlehem as a man—Micah 5:2.

Micah 5:2      (But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, / So little to be among the thousands of Judah, / From you there will come forth to Me / He who is to be Ruler in Israel; / And His goings forth are from ancient times, / From the days of eternity.)

d. God blessed the believers in Christ with the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies before the foundation of the world—Eph. 1:3-6.

Eph. 1:3        Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ,

Eph. 1:4        Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,

Eph. 1:5        Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Eph. 1:6        To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved;

2. God’s history in man began with the incarnation and continued with His processes of human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension; Hosea 11:4 says that these are the cords of a man, the bands of love:

Hosea 11:4    I drew them with cords of a man, / With bands of love; And I was to them like those / Who lift off the yoke on their jaws; / And I gently caused them to eat.

a. The divine history, God’s move in man, is with the processed Christ, the God-man, as the prototype, unto the new man to consummate in the New Jerusalem, the great God-man, the ultimate fulfillment of God’s eternal economy.

b. Through Christ’s incarnation and human living, He brought the infinite God into the finite man, He united and mingled the Triune God with the tripartite man, and He expressed in His humanity the bountiful God in His rich attributes through His aromatic virtues.

c. Christ’s crucifixion was a vicarious death, an all-inclusive death, an all-inclusive judicial redemption, which terminated the old creation and solved all problems (John 1:29); in His crucifixion He redeemed all the things created by God and fallen in sin (Heb. 2:9; Col. 1:20), He created (conceived) the new man with His divine element (Eph. 2:15), and He released His divine life from within the shell of His humanity (John 12:24; 19:34; Luke 12:49-50).

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!

Heb. 2:9        But we see Jesus, who was made a little inferior to the angels because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death on behalf of everything.

Col. 1:20       And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross-through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.

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,

John 12:24    Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 19:34    But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.

Luke 12:49    I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled!

Luke 12:50    But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed until it is accomplished!

d. In His resurrection He was begotten to be the firstborn Son of God (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; 8:29), He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b), and He regenerated millions of people to be sons of God as members of the Body of Christ and constituents of the one new man, the church (1 Pet. 1:3; Col. 3:10-11).

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.”

Rom. 1:4       Who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord;

Rom. 8:29     Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;

1 Cor. 15:45  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; 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,

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.

e. He ascended to the heavens and then descended as the Spirit to produce the church as the one new man for the corporate expression of the Triune God—Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-4, 16-21.

Joel 2:28       And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, / And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; / Your old men shall dream dreams; / Your young men shall see visions.

Joel 2:29       Indeed even upon the male and female slaves / In those days I will pour out My Spirit.

Joel 2:30       And I will show wonders in the heavens and on earth: / Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

Joel 2:31       The sun shall be turned into darkness, / And the moon into blood, / Before the great and terrible / Day of Jehovah comes.

Joel 2:32       And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah shall be saved; / For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be an escape, / As Jehovah has said, / Even for the remnant / Whom Jehovah calls.

Acts 2:1        And as the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled, they were all together in the same place.

Acts 2:2        And suddenly there was a sound out of heaven, as of a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:3        And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which were distributed; and it sat on each one of them;

Acts 2:4        And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, even as the Spirit gave to them to speak forth.

Acts 2:16      But this is what is spoken through the prophet Joel:

Acts 2:17      ”And it shall be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream things in dreams;

Acts 2:18      And indeed upon My slaves, both men and women, I will pour out of My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.

Acts 2:19      And I will show wonders in heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

Acts 2:20      The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord comes.

Acts 2:21      And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

B.     Thus, the church as the reality of the one new man is also a part of the divine history, the intrinsic history of the divine mystery within the outward, human history; at the end of this part of the divine history, Christ will come back with His overcomers as His army (Joel 1:4; 3:11) to defeat Antichrist and his army.

Joel 1:4         What the cutting locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; / And what the swarming locust has left, the licking locust has eaten; / And what the licking locust has left, the consuming locust has eaten.

Joel 3:11       Hurry and come, / All you surrounding nations, / And be gathered. / There cause Your mighty ones to descend, O Jehovah!

C.     Following this, the thousand-year kingdom will come; eventually, this kingdom will consummate in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth; the New Jerusalem will be the ultimate, the consummate, step of God’s history.

II.   With Peter (the fishing ministry), Paul (the building ministry), and John (the mending ministry), we can see the Lord’s heart’s desire to have the one new man:

A.     God used Peter on the day of Pentecost to bring in many Jewish believers (Acts 2:5-11); furthermore, Cornelius received a vision in prayer (10:30), and Peter also received a vision in prayer (vv. 17, 19) through which God’s plan and move (vv. 9b-14, 27-29) to gain the Gentiles for the practical existence of the one new man were carried out.

Acts 2:5        Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:6        And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and was confounded because each one heard them speaking in his own dialect.

Acts 2:7        And they were amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

Acts 2:8        And how is it that we each hear them in our own dialect in which we were born?

Acts 2:9        Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those dwelling in Mesopotamia, both in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

Acts 2:10      Both in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and the sojourning of Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Acts 2:11      Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the magnificent works of God?

Acts 10:30    And Cornelius said, Four days ago to this hour I was praying at the ninth hour in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Acts 10:17    Now as Peter was utterly perplexed in himself as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made diligent inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate.

Acts 10:19    And while Peter was pondering over the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, there are three men seeking you.

Acts 10:9      And on the next day as they were journeying and drawing near to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray around the sixth hour.

Acts 10:10    And he became very hungry and wanted to eat. And while they were preparing, a trance came upon him;

Acts 10:11    And he beheld heaven opened, and a certain vessel like a great sheet descending, being let down by four corners onto the earth,

Acts 10:12    In which were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and birds of heaven.

Acts 10:13    And a voice came to him: Rise up, Peter; slay and eat!

Acts 10:14    But Peter said, By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common and unclean.

Acts 10:27    And as he talked with him, he entered and found many who had come together.

Acts 10:28    And he said to them, You understand that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to join himself to or come near one of another race; yet God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Acts 10:29    Hence, even without objection I came when I had been sent for. I ask therefore, For what reason have you sent for me?

B.     Paul unveils in Ephesians 2:14-15 that Christ created both the Jews and the Gentiles into one new man through His new-man-creating death (cf. 4:22-24); Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that we were all baptized into one Body, “whether Jews or Greeks”; in Galatians 3:27-28 Paul tells us that those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, and “there cannot be Jew nor Greek”; in Colossians 3:10-11 Paul tells us that the Jew and the Greek have no place in the new man.

Eph. 2:14      For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity,

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.

1 Cor. 12:13  For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.

Gal. 3:27       For as many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Gal. 3:28       There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there cannot be slave nor free man, there cannot be male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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.

C.     John tells us that the Lord purchased by His blood “men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9); these redeemed ones constitute the church as the one new man; through John we also see that the churches are the golden lampstands (1:11-12), and consummately, these lampstands become the New Jerusalem; in the lampstands and in the New Jerusalem we can see no differences in peoples.

Rev. 5:9        And they sing a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain and have purchased for God by Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Rev. 1:11      Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

Rev. 1:12      And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,

D.     This all indicates that daily we need to put off the old man and put on the new man by drinking of the one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) so that we may be renewed in the spirit of our mind in every area of our practical daily life for the carrying out of the Lord’s heart’s desire to have the one new man in reality (Eph. 4:22-24).

1 Cor. 12:13  For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.

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.

III.  With the divine history there is the new creation—the new man with a new heart, a new spirit, a new life, a new nature, a new history, and a new consummation—Hymns, #16; Ezek. 36:26; 2 Cor. 3:16; Matt. 5:8; Titus 3:5:

Hymns, #16 Our Father, as the evergreen (Worship of the Father—His Newness)

                     1 Our Father, as the evergreen,    Thou art forever new;

                    Thou art the ever living Lord,             Thy freshness as the dew.

(Chorus)       O Father, Thou art unchanging,   Thou never hast grown old;

                     Thru countless ages, ever fresh,   Thy newness doth unfold.

                     2 O Thou art God, and Thou art “new”; Without Thee all is worn,

                    But all with Thee is ever fresh,    Though many years have gone.

                     3 Each blessing Thou hast given us      Thy newness doth contain;

                    Thy covenant, Thy ways are new,        And ever thus remain.

                     4 Now we Thy new creation are—       New spirit and new heart;

                    We’re daily from the old renewed,      New life Thou dost impart.

                     5 The earth and heavens will be new    And Thy new city share;

                    New fruits each month will be supplied, For all is newness there.

                     6 O Father, Thou art ever new,    And all is new in Thee;

                    We sing the new eternal song,             New praise we give to Thee.

Ezek. 36:26   I will also give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

2 Cor. 3:16    But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Matt. 5:8       Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Titus 3:5        Not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,

A.     The divine history, the history of God in man, was from Christ’s incarnation through His ascension to become the life-giving Spirit and then continues with His indwelling us through God’s organic salvation of regeneration, sanctification, renewing, transformation, conformation, and glorification to bring us into the full reality of the one new man and to make us the glorious bride of Christ—Eph. 4:22-24; Rom. 5:10; Rev. 19:7-9.

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.

Rom. 5:10     For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled,

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.

B.     Now we need to ask ourselves this question: Are we living in the divine history, or are we living merely in the human history?

1. We all were born in the human history, but we have been reborn, regenerated, in the divine history; if our living is in the world, we are living in the human history; but if we are living in the church as the reality of the one new man, we are living in the divine history; in the church life God’s history is our history; now two parties—God and we—have one history, the divine history.

2. We praise the Lord that we are in the divine history, experiencing and enjoying the mysterious, divine things for our organic salvation and for His spreading through the preaching of the gospel of peace to the whole inhabited earth (Eph. 2:14-17; 6:15; cf. Matt. 24:14) so that we may become the one new man in reality to be His overcoming bride.

Eph. 2:14      For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity,

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. 2:16      And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

Eph. 2:17      And coming, He announced peace as the gospel to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near,

Eph. 6:15      And having shod your feet with the firm foundation of the gospel of peace;

Matt. 24:14   And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

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