1. The Factor of Cooperating with the Lord to Bring In a New Revival That Will End This Age
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Hymns:

Scripture Reading: Hab. 3:2; Acts 26:19, 22;

Matt. 14:19, 22-23; Phil. 1:19-22, 25; John 21:15-17

Hab. 3:2        O Jehovah, I have heard the report concerning You and am afraid. / O Jehovah, revive Your work / In the midst of the years; / In the midst of the years make it known; / In wrath remember compassion.

Acts 26:19    Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,

Acts 26:22    Having therefore obtained the help which is from God, I have stood unto this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing apart from the things which both the prophets and Moses have said would take place,

Matt. 14:19   And after commanding the crowds to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds.

Matt. 14:22   And immediately He compelled the disciples to step into the boat and to go before Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

Matt. 14:23   And after He sent the crowds away, He went up to the mountain privately to pray. And when night fell, He was there alone.

Phil. 1:19      For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Phil. 1:20      According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil. 1:21      For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Phil. 1:22      But if I am to live in the flesh, if this to me is fruit for my work, then I do not know what I will choose.

Phil. 1:25      And being confident of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of the faith,

John 21:15    Then when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs.

John 21:16    He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep.

John 21:17    He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved that He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.

 

I.     Among God’s elect there has always been an aspiration to be revived—Hab. 3:2; Hosea 6:2; Rom. 8:20-22; Psa. 119:25, 50, 107, 154; John 6:57, 63; 2 Cor. 3:3, 6.

Hab. 3:2        O Jehovah, I have heard the report concerning You and am afraid. / O Jehovah, revive Your work / In the midst of the years; / In the midst of the years make it known; / In wrath remember compassion.

Hosea 6:2      He will enliven us after two days; / On the third day He will raise us up, / And we will live in His presence.

Rom. 8:20     For the creation was made subject to vanity, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it,

Rom. 8:21     In hope that the creation itself will also be freed from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Rom. 8:22     For we know that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now.

Psa. 119:25   My soul clings to the dust; / Enliven me according to Your word.

Psa. 119:50   This is my comfort in my affliction, / For Your word has enlivened me.

Psa. 119:107 I have been greatly afflicted; / O Jehovah, enliven me according to Your word.

Psa. 119:154 Plead my case, and redeem me; / Enliven me according to Your word.

John 6:57      As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.

John 6:63      It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

2 Cor. 3:3      Since you are being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone but in tablets of hearts of flesh.

2 Cor. 3:6      Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

II.   We can enter into a new revival by arriving at the highest peak of the divine revelation given to us by God—the revelation of the eternal economy of God (1 Tim. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 9:17; Acts 26:19, 22); this is the great answer to the great question concerning God’s purpose in His creation of man and in His dealing with His chosen people (Gen. 1:26; Job 10:13; cf. Eph. 3:9):

1 Tim. 1:3     Even as I exhorted you, when I was going into Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus in order that you might charge certain ones not to teach different things

1 Tim. 1:4     Nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God's economy, which is in faith.

1 Cor. 9:17    If I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

Acts 26:19    Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,

Acts 26:22    Having therefore obtained the help which is from God, I have stood unto this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing apart from the things which both the prophets and Moses have said would take place,

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.

Job 10:13      But You have hidden these things in Your heart; / I know that this is with You:

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,

A.     The mystery hidden in God’s heart is God’s eternal economy (1:10; 3:9; 1 Tim. 1:4), which is God’s eternal intention with His heart’s desire to dispense Himself in His Divine Trinity as the Father in the Son by the Spirit into His chosen people to be their life and nature that they may be the same as He is as His duplication (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2) to become an organism, the Body of Christ as the new man (Eph. 2:15-16), for God’s fullness, God’s expression (1:22-23; 3:19), which will consummate in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2—22:5).

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;

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,

1 Tim. 1:4     Nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God's economy, which is in faith.

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 John 3:2     Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been manifested what we will be. We know that if He is manifested, we will be like Him because we will see Him even as He is.

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. 1:22      And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,

Eph. 1:23      Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Eph. 3:19      And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness 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.

Rev. 21:3      And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev. 21:4      And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.

Rev. 21:5      And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.

Rev. 21:6      And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely.

Rev. 21:7      He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me.

Rev. 21:8      But the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the false, their part will be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Rev. 21:9      And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

Rev. 21:10    And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev. 21:11    Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

Rev. 21:12    It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel:

Rev. 21:13    On the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.

Rev. 21:14    And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Rev. 21:15    And he who spoke with me had a golden reed as a measure that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall.

Rev. 21:16    And the city lies square, and its length is as great as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

Rev. 21:17    And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

Rev. 21:18    And the building work of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.

Rev. 21:19    The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone: the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;

Rev. 21:20    The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.

Rev. 21:21    And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Rev. 21:22    And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Rev. 21:23    And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Rev. 21:24    And the nations will walk by its light; and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.

Rev. 21:25    And its gates shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there.

Rev. 21:26    And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

Rev. 21:27    And anything common and he who makes an abomination and a lie shall by no means enter into it, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev. 22:1      And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.

Rev. 22:2      And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Rev. 22:3      And there will no longer be a curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him;

Rev. 22:4      And they will see His face, and His name will be on their forehead.

Rev. 22:5      And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever.

B.     God becoming man that man might become God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead for the producing and building up of the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem is the essence of the entire Bible, the “diamond” in the “box” of the Bible, the eternal economy of God—Gen. 1:26; John 12:24; Rom. 8:29:

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.

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.

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. God became man through incarnation by participating in man’s humanity; man becomes God in life and nature but not in the Godhead through transformation by participating in God’s divinity—John 1:14; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:4; 2 Pet. 1:4; Phil. 2:5; Rom. 8:29; Heb. 2:10; Eph. 1:5; Rom. 8:19; 1 John 3:2; John 1:12-13.

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.

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.

Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.

2 Pet. 1:4       Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world by lust.

Phil. 2:5        Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,

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;

Heb. 2:10      For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

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

Rom. 8:19     For the anxious watching of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.

1 John 3:2     Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been manifested what we will be. We know that if He is manifested, we will be like Him because we will see Him even as He is.

John 1:12      But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name,

John 1:13      Who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

2. This divine-human romance is the subject of the entire Bible, the content of God’s economy, and the secret of the entire universe—S. S. 1:1; 6:13; cf. Hab. 1:1; 2:4; Rom. 1:17:

S.S. 1:1         The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

S.S. 6:13       Return, return, O Shulammite; / Return, return, that we may gaze at you. / Why should you gaze at the Shulammite, / As upon the dance of two camps?

Hab. 1:1        The burden which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Hab. 2:4        See, he who is puffed up, his soul is not upright within him, / But the righteous one will live by his faith.

Rom. 1:17     For the righteousness of God is revealed in it out of faith to faith, as it is written, "But the righteous shall have life and live by faith."

a. Christ is divine and human, and His transformed lover is human and divine; they are the same in life and nature, perfectly matching each other.

b. The Triune God consummated to be the Husband and the tripartite man transformed to be the bride are to be one couple, a corporate, great God-man—Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17a.

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.

Rev. 21:9      And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

Rev. 22:17    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.

C.     The central revelation of God and of the Lord’s recovery is God becoming the flesh (John 1:1, 14), the flesh becoming the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b), and the life-giving Spirit becoming the sevenfold intensified Spirit (Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6) to build up the church (Matt. 16:18) that becomes the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:15-16) and that consummates the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17a; cf. Gen. 2:22; John 19:34).

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.

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.

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.

Matt. 16:18   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Eph. 4:15      But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

Eph. 4:16      Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

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.

Rev. 21:9      And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

Rev. 22:17    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.

Gen. 2:22      And Jehovah God built the rib, which He had taken from the man, into a woman and brought her to the man.

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

D.     God and man will become one entity, and that one entity is the mingling of divinity with humanity, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem as the conclusion of the entire Bible—Rev. 21:3, 22, 2, 9; cf. Lev. 2:4-5; Psa. 92:10.

Rev. 21:3      And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev. 21:22    And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

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.

Rev. 21:9      And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

Lev. 2:4        And when you present an offering of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened cakes mingled with oil or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

Lev. 2:5        And if your offering is a meal offering baked on a flat plate, it shall be of fine flour mingled with oil, unleavened.

Psa. 92:10     But You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; / I am anointed with fresh oil.

E.      “I hope that the saints in all the churches throughout the earth, especially the co-workers and the elders, will see this revelation and then rise up to pray that God would give us a new revival—a revival which has never been recorded in history”—Life-study of 1 and 2 Chronicles, p. 15.

III.  If we practice living the life of a God-man, which is the reality of the Body of Christ, spontaneously a corporate model will be built up, a model living in the economy of God; this model will be the greatest revival in the history of the church to bring the Lord back—Psa. 48:2 and footnote 1; Rev. 3:12, 21:

Psa. 48:2       Beautiful in elevation, / The joy of the whole earth, / Is Mount 1Zion, the sides of the north, / The city of the great King.

Footnote 1     Zion was the city of King David (2 Sam. 5:7), the center of the city of Jerusalem, where the temple as God’s dwelling place on earth was built (9:11; 74:2; 76:2b; 135:21; Isa. 8:18). Zion within Jerusalem typifies the body of overcomers, the perfected and matured God-men, within the church as the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 14:1-5). As the highlight and beauty of the holy city Jerusalem (v. 2; 50:2), Zion typifies the overcomers as the high peak, the center, the uplifting, the strengthening, the enriching, the beauty, and the reality of the church (vv. 2, 11-12; 20:2; 53:6a; 87:2). The overcomers as Zion are the reality of the Body of Christ and consummate the building up of the Body in the local churches to bring in the consummated holy city, New Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies as God’s dwelling place, in eternity (Rev. 21:1-3, 16, 22). In the new heaven and new earth the entire New Jerusalem will become Zion, with all the believers as overcomers (Rev. 21:7 and note 1).

Rev. 3:12      He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Rev. 3:21      He who overcomes, to him I will give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne.

A.     God needs a corporate people to be raised up by His grace through the high peak of the divine revelation to live a life according to this revelation; a revival is the practice, the practicality, of the vision we have seen.

B.     The followers of Christ (Matt. 5:1; 28:19) were discipled through Christ’s human living on the earth, as the model of a God-man—living God by denying Himself in humanity (John 5:19, 30), revolutionizing their concept concerning man (Phil. 3:10; 1:21a).

Matt. 5:1       And when He saw the crowds, He went up to the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

Matt. 28:19   Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and 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 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.

Phil. 3:10      To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Phil. 1:21      For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

C.     Our life should be a copy, a reproduction, of the model of the life of Christ, the first God-man—1 Pet. 2:21; Matt. 11:28-29; Eph. 4:20-21; John 17:4; 5:17; Phil. 1:19-22, 25.

1 Pet. 2:21     For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered on your behalf, leaving you a model so that you may follow in His steps;

Matt. 11:28   Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matt. 11:29   Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Eph. 4:20      But you did not so learn Christ,

Eph. 4:21      If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him as the reality is in Jesus,

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

John 5:17      But Jesus answered them, My Father is working until now, and I also am working.

Phil. 1:19      For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Phil. 1:20      According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil. 1:21      For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Phil. 1:22      But if I am to live in the flesh, if this to me is fruit for my work, then I do not know what I will choose.

Phil. 1:25      And being confident of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of the faith,

D.     The Spirit of life and reality who was breathed into the disciples would guide them into all the reality of what they had observed of the Lord when they were with Him for three and a half years—John 16:13; 20:22:

John 16:13    But when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality; for He will not speak from Himself, but what He hears He will speak; and He will declare to you the things that are coming.

John 20:22    And when He had said this, He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.

1. At the commencement of the first God-man’s ministry, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, recognizing that according to His flesh (His humanity—1:14; Rom. 1:3; 8:3), He was good for nothing but death and burial—Matt. 3:15-17.

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.

Rom. 1:3       Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh,

Rom. 8:3       For that which the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh,

Matt. 3:15     But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it for now, for it is fitting for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him.

Matt. 3:16     And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him.

Matt. 3:17     And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight.

2. He trained His disciples to learn from Him (11:29) in the miracle of feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish; His “looking up to heaven” to bless the five loaves and two fish (14:19) indicates His realizing that the source of blessing was not Him, the sent One, but the Father, the sending One (John 10:30; 5:19, 30; 7:6, 8, 18).

Matt. 11:29   Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matt. 14:19   And after commanding the crowds to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds.

John 10:30    I and the Father are one.

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 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 7:6        Jesus therefore said to them, My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

John 7:8        You go up to the feast; I am not going up to this feast, because My time has not yet been fulfilled.

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.

3. The Lord did not remain in the issue of the miracle with the crowds but went away from them to be with the Father privately on the mountain in prayer—Matt. 14:22-23; Luke 6:12.

Matt. 14:22   And immediately He compelled the disciples to step into the boat and to go before Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

Matt. 14:23   And after He sent the crowds away, He went up to the mountain privately to pray. And when night fell, He was there alone.

Luke 6:12     And in these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

4. The Lord lived a life of contacting God (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; Heb. 7:25), living in the presence of God without ceasing (Acts 10:38c; John 8:29; 16:32), and of contacting people, ministering God into them to bring them into the jubilee of God’s New Testament economy (Luke 4:18-19; Heb. 8:2; cf. Gen. 14:18; Acts 6:4).

Mark 1:35     And rising very early in the morning, while it was still night, He went out and went away to a deserted place, and there He prayed.

Luke 5:16     But He Himself often withdrew in the wilderness and prayed.

Luke 6:12     And in these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

Luke 9:28     And about eight days after these words, He took with Him Peter and John and James, and went up into the mountain to pray.

Heb. 7:25      Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them.

Acts 10:38    Jesus, the One from Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all those who were being oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

John 8:29      And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.

John 16:32    Behold, an hour is coming, and has come, that you will be scattered each to his own place and will leave Me alone; yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

Luke 4:18     "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to announce the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away in release those who are oppressed,

Luke 4:19     To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of jubilee."

Heb. 8:2        A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

Gen. 14:18    And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine. Now he was priest of God the Most High.

Acts 6:4        But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word.

5. He was a man in whom Satan, the ruler of the world, had nothing (no ground, no chance, no hope, no possibility in anything)—John 14:30b, cf. v. 20; 2 Cor. 12:2a; Col. 1:27; 2 Tim. 4:22; John 3:6b; 4:23-24; 1 John 5:4, 18.

John 14:30    I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and in Me he has nothing;

John 14:20    In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

2 Cor. 12:2    I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body I do not know, or outside the body I do not know; God knows) such a one was caught away to the third heaven.

Col. 1:27       To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,

2 Tim. 4:22   The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

John 3:6        That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 4:23      But an hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him.

John 4:24      God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

1 John 5:4     For everything that has been begotten of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory which has overcome the world-our faith.

1 John 5:18   We know that everyone who is begotten of God does not sin, but he who has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him.

E.      The only way to live the life of a God-man according to the Lord’s model is to set our entire being on the mingled spirit, walking, living, and having our being according to the mingled spirit—Rom. 8:2, 4, 10, 6, 11, 16; 1 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 10:12; Gal. 5:25; Eph. 6:17-18; 1 Thes. 5:16-20; 1 Tim. 4:6-7; 2 Tim. 1:6-7.

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. 8:4       That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.

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. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.

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.

Rom. 8:16     The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.

1 Cor. 6:17    But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

Rom. 10:12   For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him;

Gal. 5:25       If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Eph. 6:17      And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God,

Eph. 6:18      By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,

1 Thes. 5:16  Always rejoice,

1 Thes. 5:17  Unceasingly pray,

1 Thes. 5:18  In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thes. 5:19  Do not quench the Spirit;

1 Thes. 5:20  Do not despise prophecies,

1 Tim. 4:6     If you lay these things before the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, being nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed.

1 Tim. 4:7     But the profane and old-womanish myths refuse, and exercise yourself unto godliness.

2 Tim. 1:6     For which cause I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

2 Tim. 1:7     For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and of love and of sobermindedness.

F.      “We should all declare that we want to live the life of a God-man. Eventually, the God-men will be the victors, the overcomers, the Zion within Jerusalem. This will bring in a new revival which has never been seen in history, and this will end this age”—Life-study of 1 and 2 Chronicles, p. 28.

IV.  We can enter into a new revival by participating in Christ’s heavenly ministry to feed His lambs and shepherd His sheep in order to take care of God’s flock, which is the church that issues in the Body of Christ; this is to incorporate the apostolic ministry with Christ’s heavenly ministry—John 21:15-17; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:1-4; Heb. 13:20-21; Rev. 1:12-13:

John 21:15    Then when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs.

John 21:16    He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep.

John 21:17    He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved that He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.

1 Pet. 2:25     For you were like sheep being led astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Pet. 5:1       Therefore the elders among you I exhort, who am a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory to be revealed:

1 Pet. 5:2       Shepherd the flock of God among you, overseeing not under compulsion but willingly, according to God; not by seeking gain through base means but eagerly;

1 Pet. 5:3       Nor as lording it over your allotments but by becoming patterns of the flock.

1 Pet. 5:4       And when the Chief Shepherd is manifested, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Heb. 13:20    Now the God of peace, He who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, in the blood of an eternal covenant,

Heb. 13:21    Perfect you in every good work for the doing of His will, doing in us that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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

Rev. 1:13      And in the midst of the lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about at the breasts with a golden girdle.

A.     We need to shepherd people according to the pattern of the Lord Jesus in His ministry for carrying out God’s eternal economy—Matt. 9:36; John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4:

Matt. 9:36     And seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and cast away like sheep not having a shepherd.

John 10:11    I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Heb. 13:20    Now the God of peace, He who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, in the blood of an eternal covenant,

1 Pet. 5:4       And when the Chief Shepherd is manifested, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

1. The content of God’s entire New Testament economy in His complete salvation is Christ as the Son of Man cherishing us by redeeming us from sin, accomplishing His judicial redemption through His death (1 Tim. 1:15; Eph. 1:7), and Christ as the Son of God nourishing us to impart the divine life into us abundantly, carrying out His organic salvation in His resurrection (John 10:10; 1 Cor. 15:45b; Eph. 5:29).

1 Tim. 1:15   Faithful is the word and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.

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

John 10:10    The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.

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.

Eph. 5:29      For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ also the church,

2. Our not having the Father’s loving and forgiving heart and the Savior’s shepherding and seeking spirit are the reason for our barrenness—Luke 15:1-24.

Luke 15:1     Now all the tax collectors and sinners were drawing near to Him to hear Him.

Luke 15:2     And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured among themselves, saying, This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.

Luke 15:3     And He told them this parable, saying,

Luke 15:4     Which man of you, who has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

Luke 15:5     And when he finds it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Luke 15:6     And when he comes into his house, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.

Luke 15:7     I tell you that in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.

Luke 15:8     Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one silver coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek carefully until she finds it?

Luke 15:9     And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I lost.

Luke 15:10    In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.

Luke 15:11    And He said, A certain man had two sons.

Luke 15:12    And the younger of them said to the father, Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me. And he distributed to them his living.

Luke 15:13    And not many days after, the younger son, having gathered everything together, went abroad to a distant country and there squandered his estate by living dissolutely.

Luke 15:14    And when he had spent all, a severe famine occurred throughout that country, and he began to be in want.

Luke 15:15    And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed hogs.

Luke 15:16    And he longed to be satisfied with the carob pods which the hogs were eating, and no one gave him anything.

Luke 15:17    But when he came to himself, he said, How many of my father's hired servants abound in bread, but I am perishing here in famine!

Luke 15:18    I will rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.

Luke 15:19    I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.

Luke 15:20    And he rose up and came to his own father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and he ran and fell on his neck and kissed him affectionately.

Luke 15:21    And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.

Luke 15:22    But the father said to his slaves, Bring out quickly the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

Luke 15:23    And bring the fattened calf; slaughter it, and let us eat and be merry,

Luke 15:24    Because this son of mine was dead and lives again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to be merry.

3. We need to cherish people (to make them happy and to make them feel pleasant and comfortable) in the humanity of Jesus (Matt. 9:10; Luke 7:34); we need to nourish people (to feed them with the all-inclusive Christ in His ministry of three stages) in the divinity of Christ—Matt. 24:45-47.

Matt. 9:10     And as He was reclining at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and reclined together with Jesus and His disciples.

Luke 7:34     The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

Matt. 24:45   Who then is the faithful and prudent slave, whom the master has set over his household to give them food at the proper time?

Matt. 24:46   Blessed is that slave whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Matt. 24:47   Truly I say to you that he will set him over all his possessions.

4. Christ had to pass through Samaria, purposely detouring to Sychar to gain one immoral woman, cherishing her by asking her to give Him something to drink in order to nourish her with the flowing Triune God as the river of water of life—John 4:3-14; Rev. 22:1.

John 4:3        He left Judea and went away again into Galilee.

John 4:4        And He had to pass through Samaria.

John 4:5        So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land that Jacob gave to Joseph his son;

John 4:6        And Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from the journey, sat thus by the well; it was about the sixth hour.

John 4:7        There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me something to drink.

John 4:8        For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

John 4:9        The Samaritan woman then said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, who am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

John 4:10      Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.

John 4:11      The woman said to Him, Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water?

John 4:12      Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank of it himself, as well as his sons and his cattle?

John 4:13      Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again,

John 4:14      But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.

Rev. 22:1      And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.

5. As the One without sin, He did not condemn the adulterous woman but cherished her for the forgiveness of her sins judicially and for the setting free from her sins organically (John 8:1-11, 32, 36); it is also significant that the first one saved by Christ through His crucifixion was a robber sentenced to death (Luke 23:42-43).

John 8:1        But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

John 8:2        And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them.

John 8:3        And the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst,

John 8:4        They said to Him, Teacher, this woman has been caught committing adultery, in the very act.

John 8:5        Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do You say?

John 8:6        But they said this to tempt Him, so that they might have reason to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground.

John 8:7        But when they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

John 8:8        And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

John 8:9        And when they heard that, they went out one by one, beginning with the older ones. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman stood where she was, in the midst.

John 8:10      And Jesus stood up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

John 8:11      And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.

John 8:32      And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

John 8:36      If therefore the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.

Luke 23:42    And he said, Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

Luke 23:43    And He said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

6. The Lord went to Jericho just to visit and gain one person, a chief tax collector, and His preaching was a shepherding (19:1-10); He also cherished the parents by laying His hands on their children (Matt. 19:13-15).

Luke 19:1     And He entered and was passing through Jericho.

Luke 19:2     And behold, there was a man whose name was called Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.

Luke 19:3     And he was seeking to see Jesus, who He was, and could not because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.

Luke 19:4     And he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.

Luke 19:5     And as He came to the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house.

Luke 19:6     And he hurried and came down, and received Him, rejoicing.

Luke 19:7     And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, He has gone in to lodge with a sinful man.

Luke 19:8     And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, the half of my possessions, Lord, I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore four times as much.

Luke 19:9     And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.

Luke 19:10    For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.

Matt. 19:13   Then little children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.

Matt. 19:14   But Jesus said, Allow the little children and do not prevent them from coming to Me, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens.

Matt. 19:15   And after He laid His hands on them, He went on from there.

B.     We need to shepherd people according to the pattern of the apostle Paul, who shepherded the saints as a nursing mother and an exhorting father in order to take care of God’s flock—1 Thes. 2:7-8, 11-12; 1 Tim. 1:16; Acts 20:28:

1 Thes. 2:7    But we were gentle in your midst, as a nursing mother would cherish her own children.

1 Thes. 2:8    Yearning in this way over you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own souls, because you became beloved to us.

1 Thes. 2:11  Just as you know how we were to each one of you, as a father to his own children, exhorting you and consoling you and testifying,

1 Thes. 2:12  So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

1 Tim. 1:16   But because of this I was shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ might display all His long-suffering for a pattern to those who are to believe on Him unto eternal life.

Acts 20:28    Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He obtained through His own blood.

1. Paul shepherded the saints in Ephesus by teaching them “publicly and from house to house” (v. 20) and by admonishing each one of the saints with tears for three years (vv. 31, 19), declaring to them all the counsel of God (v. 27).

Acts 20:20    How I did not withhold any of those things that are profitable by not declaring them to you and by not teaching you publicly and from house to house,

Acts 20:31    Therefore watch, remembering that for three years, night and day, I did not cease admonishing each one with tears.

Acts 20:19    Serving the Lord as a slave with all humility and tears and trials which came upon me by the plots of the Jews;

Acts 20:27    For I did not shrink from declaring to you all the counsel of God.

2. Paul had an intimate concern for the believers (2 Cor. 7:2-7; Philem. 7, 12), and he came down to the weak ones’ level so that he could gain them (2 Cor. 11:28-29; 1 Cor. 9:22; cf. Matt. 12:20).

2 Cor. 7:2      Make room for us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.

2 Cor. 7:3      I do not say this to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts for our dying together and our living together.

2 Cor. 7:4      Great is my boldness toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf; I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our affliction.

2 Cor. 7:5      For even when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted in everything; without were fightings, within were fears.

2 Cor. 7:6      But He who comforts those who are downcast, that is, God, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

2 Cor. 7:7      And not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted because of you, declaring to us your longing, your lamentation, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced the more.

Philem. 7       For I had much joy and encouragement over your love, because the inward parts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Philem. 12     Him I have sent back to you-him, that is, my very heart-

2 Cor. 11:28  Apart from the things which have not been mentioned, there is this: the crowd of cares pressing upon me daily, the anxious concern for all the churches.

2 Cor. 11:29  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is stumbled, and I myself do not burn?

1 Cor. 9:22    To the weak I became weak that I might gain the weak. To all men I have become all things that I might by all means save some.

Matt. 12:20   A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench until He brings forth justice unto victory.

3. He was willing to spend what he had, referring to his possessions, and to spend what he was, referring to his being, for the sake of the saints (2 Cor. 12:15); he was a drink offering, one with Christ as the wine producer, sacrificing himself for others’ enjoyment of Christ (Phil. 2:17; Judg. 9:13; Eph. 3:2).

2 Cor. 12:15  But I, I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent on behalf of your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I loved less?

Phil. 2:17      But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and I rejoice together with you all.

Judg. 9:13     But the vine said to them, Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?

Eph. 3:2        If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

4. Paul walked by the Spirit to honor God so that he could minister the Spirit to honor man—2 Cor. 3:3, 6, 8; Gal. 5:16, 25; Judg. 9:9.

2 Cor. 3:3      Since you are being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone but in tablets of hearts of flesh.

2 Cor. 3:6      Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Cor. 3:8      How shall the ministry of the Spirit not be more in glory?

Gal. 5:16       But I say, Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Gal. 5:25       If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Judg. 9:9       But the olive tree said to them, Shall I leave my fatness, because of which God and men are honored by me, and go to wave over the trees?

5. Paul indicated in his teaching that the church is a home to raise up people, a hospital to heal and recover them, and a school to teach and edify them—Eph. 2:19; 1 Thes. 5:14; 1 Cor. 14:31.

Eph. 2:19      So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

1 Thes. 5:14  And we exhort you, brothers, Admonish the disorderly, console the fainthearted, sustain the weak, be long-suffering toward all.

1 Cor. 14:31  For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

6. He revealed that love is the most excellent way for us to be anything and to do anything for the building up of the Body of Christ—8:1; 12:31; 13:4-8a; Eph. 1:4; 3:17; 4:2, 15-16; 5:2; 6:24; Rev. 2:4-5; Col. 1:18b; 1 Thes. 1:3.

1 Cor. 8:1      Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

1 Cor. 12:31  But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And moreover I show to you a most excellent way.

1 Cor. 13:4    Love suffers long. Love is kind; it is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not puffed up;

1 Cor. 13:5    It does not behave unbecomingly and does not seek its own things; it is not provoked and does not take account of evil;

1 Cor. 13:6    It does not rejoice because of unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1 Cor. 13:7    It covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Cor. 13:8    Love never falls away. But whether prophecies, they will be rendered useless; or tongues, they will cease; or knowledge, it will be rendered useless.

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. 3:17      That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph. 4:2        With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love,

Eph. 4:15      But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

Eph. 4:16      Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

Eph. 5:2        And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.

Eph. 6:24      Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.

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.

Col. 1:18       And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;

1 Thes. 1:3    Remembering unceasingly your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father;

C.     “I hope that there will be a genuine revival among us by our receiving this burden of shepherding. If all the churches receive this teaching to participate in Christ’s wonderful shepherding, there will be a big revival in the recovery”—The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1994–1997, vol. 5, “The Vital Groups,” p. 92.

 

Excerpts from the Ministry

 

GOD’S LOVE MOTIVATING US TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES

God’s love motivates us, His children, to love our enemies that we may be perfect as He is; He loves the fallen human race, who became His enemies, by causing His sun (signifying Christ) to rise on the evil and the good indiscriminately and sending rain (signifying the Spirit) on the just and the unjust equally; thus, we may become the sons of the heavenly Father who are sanctified from the tax collectors and the Gentiles (Matt. 5:43-48). The entire human race became His enemies, but God still loves the human race. If God sent Christ to us with discrimination, we would be disqualified from receiving His salvation. He causes His sun to rise first on the evil and then on the good without discrimination.

We should be like God in our love for others. The tax collectors love only those who love them. The Lord said, “If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (v. 46). If we love only those who love us, we are of the same species as the tax collectors. But we are of the super, divine species, so we love the evil ones, our enemies, as well as the good ones. This shows how God as love prevails.

The vital groups should be groups that are prevailing. A proof that our vital group is prevailing is that we love people without any discrimination. Some Christian co-workers may feel that we should let certain persons suffer eternal perdition. They may say that they would not love certain persons, such as bank robbers. But while Christ was being crucified on the cross, two robbers were crucified with Him (27:38). One of them said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (v. 43). The first one saved by Christ through His crucifixion was not a gentleman but a criminal, a robber, sentenced to death. This is very meaningful.

LOVE BUILDS UP

First Corinthians 8:1b says, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Teaching without love may puff us up. We may listen to the messages of the ministry and become puffed up with mere knowledge. This does not build up. Love builds up.

LOVE BEING THE GREATEST

Love is not jealous, is not provoked, does not take account of evil, covers all things, endures all things, never falls away, and is the greatest (13:4-8, 13). Jealousy is in our nature. When a new child is born in a family, the other child may become jealous. Jealousy is also present in the church life. One sister may be jealous of another sister because she receives many Amens from the saints when she prays or prophesies. Some brothers may be jealous when they see that another brother has been appointed into the eldership. After being in the church life for over sixty years, I can testify that one of the hardest things is to appoint the elders. We realize that if we appoint a certain brother, another brother whom we do not feel to appoint may be stumbled because of jealousy. If a certain sister is asked to take the lead in a sisters’ house, the others may become jealous, but love is not jealous.

Also, love is not provoked. People are easily provoked because of the shortage of love. Regardless of how much we are rebuked, we will not be provoked if we are filled with the divine love. Love does not take account of evil. We have to confess that we have taken account of other people’s evil. Some wives have a record, an account, of their husband’s failures and defects. This record may not be written, but it is in their mind. They are taking account of their husband’s evil.

The elders need to realize that in their shepherding, they have to cover others’ sins, to not take account of others’ evils. Love covers all things, not only the good things but also the bad things. Whoever uncovers the defects, shortcomings, and sins of the members of the church is disqualified from the eldership. Our uncovering of the members under our eldership, our shepherding, annuls our qualification. Love also endures all things and never falls away. First Corinthians 13 concludes by saying, “Now there abide faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (v. 13).

LOVE BEING THE CONCLUSION OF ALL SPIRITUAL VIRTUES

AND THE FACTOR OF FRUIT-BEARING

Love is the conclusion of all spiritual virtues and the factor of fruit-bearing that supplies us bountifully with the rich entrance into the kingdom of Christ (2 Pet. 1:5-11).

THE BODY BUILDING ITSELF UP IN LOVE

The Body of Christ builds itself up in love (Eph. 4:16). The phrase in love is used repeatedly in the book of Ephesians (1:4; 3:17; 4:2, 15-16; 5:2). God predestinated us unto sonship before the foundation of the world in love, and the Body of Christ builds itself up in love. The growth in life is in love. In the last few years we have appreciated the Lord’s showing us the high peak of the divine revelation. My concern is that although we may talk about the truths of the high peak, love is absent among us. If this is the case, we are puffed up, not built up. The Body of Christ builds itself up in love.

THE SPIRIT THAT GOD GIVES US BEING OF LOVE

The spirit that God has given us is our human spirit regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This spirit is a spirit of love; hence, it is of power and of sobermindedness (2 Tim. 1:7). We may think that we are very powerful and sober, but our spirit is not of love. We talk to people in a way that is full of power and sobermindedness, but our talk threatens them.

Paul says that we need to fan our gift into flame (v. 6). The main gift that God has given us is our regenerated human spirit with His Spirit, His life, and His nature. We must fan this gift into flame. This means that we have to stir up our spirit so that our spirit will be burning. Romans 12:11 says that we should be burning in spirit. If our spirit is not a spirit of love, our fanning it into flame will burn the whole recovery in a negative way. We must have a burning spirit of love, not a burning spirit of authority, which damages. Whatever is mentioned in 2 Timothy is a requirement for us to face the degradation of the church. How can we overcome the degradation of the church? We must have a burning human spirit of love. Under today’s degradation of the church, we all need a spirit of love fanned into flame to be burning in spirit. Love prevails in this way.

According to my observation throughout the years, most of the co-workers have a human spirit of “power” but not of love. We need a spirit of love to conquer the degradation of today’s church. We should not say or do anything to threaten people. Instead, we should always say and do things with a spirit of love, which has been fanned into flame. This is what the recovery needs.

THE ONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ABIDING IN DEATH

First John 3:14b says that he who does not love abides in death. We may think that we are living, but we are dead because we do not love. If we do not love our brother, we abide in death and are dead, but if we do love him, we abide in life and are living.

PURSUING LOVE

First Corinthians 13 speaks of love, and then chapter 14 begins by saying that we are to pursue love while we desire spiritual gifts (v. 1). Our desiring of gifts must go along with the pursuing of love. Otherwise, the gifts will puff us up.

PURSUING LOVE WITH THOSE WHO SEEK THE LORD

OUT OF A PURE HEART

To overcome the degradation of the church we need to pursue love with those who seek the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim. 2:22). We have to pursue love with a group of seekers of the Lord. This is a vital group.

A SIGN THAT WE BELONG TO CHRIST

Loving one another is a sign that we belong to Christ (John 13:34-35). We do not need to bear an outward sign that we are of Christ. If all the saints in the Lord’s recovery love one another, the whole world will say that these people are of Christ.

THE LOVE OF GOD MAKING US MORE THAN CONQUERORS

The love of God makes us more than conquerors over our circumstantial situations (Rom. 8:35-39). If we are to be more than conquerors, we need the love of Christ and of God.

LOVE BEING THE MOST EXCELLENT WAY

The end of 1 Corinthians 12 reveals that love is the most excellent way (v. 31b). How can one be an elder? Love is the most excellent way. How can one be a co-worker? Love is the most excellent way. How do we shepherd people? Love is the most excellent way. Love is the most excellent way for us to prophesy and to teach others. Love is the most excellent way for us to be anything or do anything.

Love prevails. We should love everybody, even our enemies. If the co-workers and elders do not love the bad ones, eventually, they will have nothing to do. We must be perfect as our Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48) by loving the evil ones and the good ones without any discrimination. We must be perfect as our Father because we are His sons, His species. This is most crucial. How can we be a co-worker and an elder? It is by love in every way. We must love any kind of person. The Lord Jesus said that He came to be a Physician, not for the healthy ones but for the sick ones. The Lord said, “Those who are strong have no need of a physician, but those who are ill” (9:12).

The church is not a police station to arrest people or a law court to judge people but a home to raise up the believers. Parents know that the worse their children are, the more they need their raising up. If our children were angels, they would not need our parenting to raise them up. The church is a loving home to raise up the children. The church is also a hospital to heal and to recover the sick ones. Finally, the church is a school to teach and edify the unlearned ones who do not have much understanding. Because the church is a home, a hospital, and a school, the co-workers and elders should be one with the Lord to raise up, to heal, to recover, and to teach others in love.

Some of the churches, however, are police stations to arrest the sinful ones and law courts to judge them. Paul’s attitude was different. He said, “Who is weak, and I am not weak?” (2 Cor. 11:29a). When the scribes and Pharisees brought an adulterous woman to the Lord, He said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). After all of them left, the Lord asked the sinful woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you” (vv. 10-11). Who is without sin? Who is perfect? Paul said, “To the weak I became weak that I might gain the weak” (1 Cor. 9:22). That is love. We should not consider that others are weak but we are not. That is not love. Love covers and builds up, so love is the most excellent way for us to be anything and to do anything for the building up of the Body of Christ. (The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1994–1997, vol. 5, “The Vital Groups,” pp. 122-127)


 
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