6. Knowing and Spreading the Up-to-date Truth of the Highest Gospel of God's Eternal Economy according to the Ministry of the Age
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  • 06-14,
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Scripture Reading: 2 Pet. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Matt. 16:18; 2 Sam. 7:12-14a; Rom. 1:3-4; Rev. 21:2, 9-10
I. The particular recovery and work that God is doing in one age is the ministry of that age; the ministry of the age ministers the present truth to God's people; in 2 Peter 1:12 the present truth can also be rendered "the up-to-date truth":
A. Although all the truths are in the Bible, through man's foolishness, unfaithfulness, negligence, and disobedience many truths were lost and hidden from man—cf. 2 Kings 22:8.
B. Freshly revealed truths are not God's new inventions; rather, they are man's new discoveries; every worker of the Lord should inquire before God as to what the present truth is.
C. God's truths are cumulative; later truths do not negate earlier ones; what we see today are the cumulative revelations of God.
D. May God be gracious to us that we do not become castaways of "the present truth"; may we be watchful and not allow the flesh to come in or the self to gain any ground.
 

II. The present truth, the highest peak of the divine revelation given to us by God through the ministry of this age, is the revelation of the eternal economy of God; the gospel of God's eternal economy is "the gospel of the promise made to the fathers" (Acts 13:32)—the promise that the seed of David would become the Son of God, that is, that a human seed would become a divine Son (vv. 22-23, 33-34; 26:6, 16-19; 2 Sam. 7:12-14a; Rom. 1:3-4; Matt. 22:41-45):
A. We should not preach a gospel that has been lowered down to what we think is the level of people's understanding; we should preach an uplifted gospel and never lower the concept (1 Thes. 1:1, 3-4, 10; 5:23; 1 Cor. 2:7-13); we must believe that within man there is a God-created ability to receive and understand the things of God (Job 32:8; Zech. 12:1; Eccl. 3:11; Acts 17:26-29; Isa. 43:7).
B. We must present the truth concerning the eternal economy of God item by item according to the entire Bible; this is the Lord's special commission to us—1 Cor. 1:9; 9:16-17, 23; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 2:7; 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:11; 2:2, 15; Col. 1:28.
III. The seed of David becoming the Son of God speaks of the process of Christ's being designated the firstborn Son of God by resurrection—Rom. 1:3-4:
A. Paul said that he was separated unto the gospel of God concerning God's Son, which indicates that the gospel of God is a gospel of sonship for the reality of the Body of Christ—vv. 1, 3-4; 8:28-30; 12:5.
B. Romans 1:3-4 is the fulfillment of the prophecy in typology in 2 Samuel 7:12-14a, unveiling the mystery of God becoming man to make man God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead.
C. By incarnation Christ, the only begotten Son of God in His divinity (John 1:18), put on the flesh, the human nature, which had nothing to do with divinity; in His humanity He was not the Son of God.
D. In resurrection His humanity was deified, sonized, meaning that He was designated the Son of God in His humanity, becoming the firstborn Son of God and possessing both divinity and humanity—Rom. 8:29.
E. Thus, in Christ God was constituted into man, man was constituted into God, and God and man were mingled together to be one entity, the God-man.
F. God's gospel and His intention in His economy are to build God into man and man into God; this building is God becoming a man (the seed of David) that man might become God (the designated Son of God)—John 14:23; 15:4-5; Rom. 1:3-4.
G. This gospel was spoken by the Lord Jesus when He said, "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 12:24:
1. If a seed dies by being buried in the soil, it will eventually sprout, grow, and blossom in resurrection, because the operation of the seed's life is activated simultaneously with its death—1 Cor. 15:36; 1 Pet. 3:18.
2. The divinity, the Spirit of holiness, in Christ became operative in His death, and in resurrection He "blossomed" to be the firstborn Son of God and the life-dispensing Spirit, imparting His divine life into us to make us His many brothers—Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:45b.
3. The prototype is the firstborn Son of God, and the reproduction is the many sons of God, the members of the prototype to be His Body, which consummates in the New Jerusalem—Col. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3.
IV. The seed of David becoming the Son of God speaks of the process of our being designated the many sons of God by resurrection—Heb. 2:10-11:
A. Christ has already been designated the Son of God, but we are still in the process of designation, the process of being sonized, deified—Rom. 8:28-29.
B. The life of the Son of God has been implanted into our spirit—v. 10:
1. Now we, like the seed that is sown into the earth, must pass through the process of death and resurrection—John 12:24-26.
2. This causes the outer man to be consumed, but it enables the inner life to grow, to develop, and ultimately, to blossom from within us; this is resurrection—1 Cor. 15:31, 36; 2 Cor. 4:10-12, 16-18.
C. In resurrection Christ in His humanity was designated the Son of God, and by means of such a resurrection we also are in the process of being designated sons of God—Rom. 8:11:
1. The process of our being designated, sonized, deified, is the process of resurrection with four main aspects—sanctification, transformation, conformation, and glorification—6:22; 12:2; 8:29-30.
2. The key to the process of designation is resurrection, which is the indwelling Christ as the rising-up Spirit, the designating Spirit, the power of life in our spirit—John 11:25; Rom. 8:10-11; Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:26; 5:4:
a. We urgently need to learn how to walk according to the spirit, to enjoy and experience the designating Spirit—Rom. 8:4, 14; Matt. 14:22-23; Mark 1:35-38; Psa. 62:8; 102 title.
b. The more we touch the Spirit, the more we are sanctified, transformed, con-formed, and glorified to become God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead for the building up of the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem— 1 Cor. 12:3; Rom. 10:12-13; 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6.
D. The more we grow in life and pass through the metabolic process of transformation, the more we are designated the sons of God—2 Cor. 3:18, 6, 16; 5:4, 9, 14-15; 1:12; 12:7-9:
1. This metabolic process is the building up of the church as the Body of Christ and the house of God by the building of God into man and man into God—Rom. 12:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:20-22.
2. Humanity is designated in divinity, and divinity and humanity are blended as one; today we, seeds of humanity, are becoming sons of God in divinity through the process of God's building—Matt. 16:18; Eph. 3:16-19; Rev. 21:2, 9-10.
3. God's economy and goal according to His heart's desire are to build Himself into man and to build man into Him; this building will consummate in the New Jerusalem as a great, corporate God-man, the totality of all the sons of God—v. 7.
4. One day this process will be completed, and for eternity we will be the same as Christ, God's firstborn Son, in our spirit, soul, and body—1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:19, 23; Hymns, #948, stanza 2.
E. On God's side, the Triune God has been incarnated to be a man; on our side, we are being deified, constituted with the processed and consummated Triune God so that we may be made God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead to be His corporate expression for eternity; this is the highest truth, and this is the highest gospel.
V. We need to be constituted with and spread the highest truth of God's eternal economy by using the Life-studies and the Recovery Version with the footnotes; they are for life ministering, for truth releasing, and for opening up the books of the Bible—Job 10:13; cf. Eph. 3:9:
A. The Lord's recovery is the recovery of the light of the truth; the most urgent need on the earth today is the truth of this age:
1. The Life-studies with the Recovery Version and all the footnotes are the most prevailing key to open up the Bible to us; they are not to replace the Bible but to bring people into the Bible—Acts 8:26-39.
2. We must consider the text of the Recovery Version with the footnotes and the Life-studies as a textbook for prayerful studying; if we merely read them in a light way, we will only receive some temporary nourishment and inspiration; however, when what we read becomes the truth in our enlightened memory, it becomes a constant and eternal nourishment to us—Psa. 119:130.
3. The intention and goal of the Life-study messages are to "open up the mine" of the truth of the Bible for us to dig out the treasures; "I have published many things that need your spending years to get into"—The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1984, vol. 2, "Elders' Training, Book 3: The Way to Carry Out the Vision," p. 316.
B. Today we must bear the responsibility for spreading the translated, interpreted, and understood divine truths for the Lord's recovery:
1. The proper understanding of the Bible has been collected in our writings in order for us to study, learn, and spread the divine truths; the Recovery Version and the accompanying footnotes are the "crystallization" of the understanding of the divine revelation which the saints everywhere have attained to in the past two thousand years.
2. The Lord has given us these precious truths for us to spread them not only to Christians but even to the unbelievers; what the Lord needs today is for thousands of His dear saints who love Him, who live to Him, and who know nothing but His recovery to take one way to spread the same truths to make them the faithful and prudent slaves to serve food to the Lord's people at the proper time; then we will fulfill the commission of the Lord's recovery—2 Cor. 5:14-15; Matt. 24:45.
3. The increase of the church depends on the spread of the truth; only the truth can subdue and gain people; from now on we all should spend time to learn the truth of God's eternal economy and minister Christ to others for the multiplication and spread of the church—Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20.
 
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