Scripture Reading: Lev. 26:1-13; 1 John 5:20-21; Matt. 28:19; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Eph. 2:21-22
I. Leviticus 26:1 and 2 speak of not making idols, keeping Jehovah's Sabbaths, and reverencing His sanctuary; we need to understand the intrinsic significance of these three points—the processed Triune God, His work, and the result of His work.
II. We should not have idols; this signifies that besides God we should have no other goals that we are seeking after, so that we may not lose the position to enjoy our divine inheritance—v. 1:
A. God Himself must be our unique goal; as God's children, we should not seek anything other than Him—Psa. 73:25-26.
B. Idols refers to the heretical substitutes for the true God—1 John 5:21:
1. An idol is anything that replaces the true God, the Triune God experienced by us as our life—v. 21.
2. As genuine children of the genuine God, we should be on the alert to guard ourselves from heretical substitutes and from all vain replacements for our genuine and real God, with whom we are organically one and who is eternal life to us—3:1; 5:11-13, 20-21.
C. The New Testament reveals that our God is the processed and consummated Triune God, the One who has passed through the processes of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection—John 1:14; 6:57a; Heb. 9:14; Rom. 1:3-4:
1. Processed refers to the steps through which the Triune God has passed in the divine economy; consummated indicates that the process has been completed—John 1:14; 2:22; 7:39; Gal. 3:14.
2. Although God is eternal and unchanging in His nature and substance, He has passed through a process in His economy—John 1:14; 1 Cor. 15:45b.
3. Before His incarnation God was unprocessed, having only the divine nature, but through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection, the Triune God was processed and consummated to become the Spirit—John 7:39.
D. The Spirit is the consummation of the processed Triune God—Gal. 3:2, 5, 14; 5:5, 16, 18, 25; 6:8:
1. The processed and consummated Triune God is the Spirit—3:2, 5, 14:
a. We all need to receive a vision of the Spirit—the compound of the Triune God, the man Jesus, His human living, His death, and His resurrection—John 7:39; Acts 16:7; Rom. 8:9-11; Phil. 1:19; Gal. 3:14.
b. The Spirit is the processed, compound, all-inclusive, life-giving, indwelling, sevenfold intensified, consummated Spirit as the ultimate consummation of the processed Triune God to be the eternal portion of His chosen, redeemed, regenerated, renewed, transformed, conformed, and glorified tripartite people as their life, life supply, and everything.
2. Before the Lord Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the consummated Spirit was "not yet"—John 7:39:
a. The Spirit of God was there from the beginning (Gen. 1:2), but the Spirit as "the Spirit of Christ" (Rom. 8:9), "the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:19), was "not yet" at the time of John 7:39, because He was not yet glorified.
b. The Lord Jesus was glorified when He was resurrected, and through this glorification the Spirit of God became the Spirit of the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected Jesus Christ—Luke 24:26; Phil. 1:19.
c. The last Adam, who was Christ in the flesh, became the life-giving Spirit in resurrection; since then, the Spirit of Jesus Christ has both divine and human elements, including the reality of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ—1 Cor. 15:45b; Acts 16:7; Rom. 8:9.
3. The term the consummated Spirit indicates that the Spirit has been processed and thus has become the consummated Spirit—John 7:39; Gal. 3:14:
a. The Spirit is the Triune God after He has passed through the processes of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection—John 7:39.
b. Having passed through all the steps of the process, the Triune God is now the consummated Spirit as the blessing of God's New Testament economy—Gen. 1:1-2; Gal. 3:14.
c. The consummated Spirit, the compound Spirit, is the divine and mystical realm into which the believers in Christ may enter today—John 14:20.
III. We should keep God's Sabbaths; this signifies that we should know that the work of God was done entirely by Himself that we might enjoy it, and that there is no need for us to do any work—Lev. 26:2a:
A. We need to learn to receive, regard, respect, and enjoy what God has done and not try to do something for ourselves—John 1:16; 20:22; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 4:7:
1. We should deny our work but honor God's work and rest in Him—Matt. 11:28-29.
2. God wants us to stop our doing, be replaced by Christ, and keep away from the taste of anything other than Christ—Gal. 2:20; John 6:57; Isa. 55:1-2; 58:3.
3. The way to enjoy the unsearchably rich Christ is to take Him as our real Sabbath rest, stopping ourselves with our living, doing, and activity, and receive Him as our life, person, and replacement; then we will experience Christ as the power of resurrection to be transformed and to soar in the heavens far above every earthly frustration—Matt. 11:28-30; Isa. 40:28-31.
B. We need to know what the Triune God has done for us and highly regard the work of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14:
1. The work of the Father includes:
a. Choosing the believers before the foundation of the world—Eph. 1:4.
b. Predestinating the believers unto sonship—v. 5.
c. Sending His Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin—Rom. 8:3.
d. Coming in the Son and working within the Son—John 5:17, 24, 30.
e. Passing through death in the Son—Heb. 9:12; Acts 20:28; 1 John 1:7.
f. Raising up Christ from the dead—Acts 2:24.
g. Seating Christ in the heavenlies, subjecting all things under His feet, and giving Him to be Head over all things to the church—Eph. 1:20-23.
h. Calling, forgiving, justifying, reconciling, receiving, regenerating, washing, sanctifying, and glorifying the believers—Rom. 8:30, 33; 5:10; 14:3; 1 Thes. 2:12; 5:23; Heb. 8:12; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 1:9.
i. Sending forth the Spirit of His Son into the believers'hearts—Gal. 4:6.
j. Causing all things to work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose—Rom. 8:28.
k. Crushing Satan under the believers'feet—16:20.
l. Bringing many believers into glory—Heb. 2:10.
2. The work of Christ includes:
a. Bringing God into man and making God one with man—John 1:1, 14.
b. Serving people—Matt. 20:28.
c. Sowing the seed of the kingdom—13:19, 24, 37.
d. Undoing the works of the devil—1 John 3:8.
e. As the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world—John 1:29.
f. Destroying the devil, who has the might of death—Heb. 2:14.
g. Rebuilding God's temple, making it a corporate one—John 2:19-22.
h. Becoming the life-giving Spirit—1 Cor. 15:45b.
i. As the Lord, exercising His sovereignty over all for the accomplishment of the divine economy—Acts 2:36.
j. Building the church—Matt. 16:18.
k. As our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, interceding for us—Heb. 5:10; 7:24-26.
l. As the Ruler of the kings of the earth, ruling the whole world that the gospel may spread and the church may be produced—Rev. 1:5.
3. The work of the Spirit includes:
a. Convicting the world—John 16:8-11.
b. Regenerating the believers—3:5-6.
c. Supplying the believers with His bountiful supply—Phil. 1:19.
d. Sanctifying the believers—2 Thes. 2:13.
e. Transforming the believers—2 Cor. 3:18.
f. Guiding the believers into all the reality—John 16:13.
g. Pouring out God's love in the believers'hearts—Rom. 5:5.
h. Anointing the believers—2 Cor. 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 27.
i. Being the oneness of the Body of Christ—Eph. 4:3-4.
j. Speaking to the churches—Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22.
IV. We need to reverence God's sanctuary; this signifies that we should regard with reverence all that God is and has accomplished in Christ as God's dwelling, embodiment, and expression and in the church as the enlargement of Christ for God's dwelling and eternal manifestation—Lev. 26:2b; John 1:14; 14:2-3; Col. 2:9; 1 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Tim. 3:15-16:
A. First, we have the processed Triune God and His work for our rest, and then, as the result of His work, we have the church as the expression and the enlargement of Christ—Lev. 26:1-2.
B. "Let them make a sanctuary for Me that I may dwell in their midst"—Exo. 25:8:
1. The book of Exodus reveals that the goal of God's salvation is the building of God's dwelling place on earth—vv. 8-9; 29:45-46; 40:1-2, 34-38.
2. The sanctuary in Leviticus 26:2 implies God's dwelling, embodiment, and expression in Christ and God's dwelling and eternal manifestation in the church—Eph. 2:21-22; Rev. 21:10.
C. The church is God's house, the dwelling place of God—1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:6; 1 Pet. 4:17:
1. As the house of God, the church is the dwelling place of God—the place where God can have His rest and put His trust—Eph. 2:21-22.
2. The church of God is the house of the living God—1 Tim. 3:15:
a. The house of God is the household of God—Eph. 2:19:
1) The dwelling place (the house) and the family (the household) are one entity—a group of called, regenerated ones indwelt by God Himself—1 Pet. 1:3; 2:5; 1 Cor. 3:16.
2) Just as Christ is not separate from the members of His Body but dwells in them, the Father is not a separate member of His household but is in all the children—Rom. 8:10; 12:4-5; 2 Cor. 6:16.
b. The house of God is organic in the divine life, organic in the divine nature, and organic in the Triune God; because the church is organic, the church grows—Eph. 2:21.
c. In speaking of the church as the house of God, Paul refers to God as the living God—1 Tim. 3:15:
1) The living God, who lives in the church, must be subjective to the church and not merely objective—1 Cor. 3:16.
2) Because God is living, the church as the house of God is also living in Him, by Him, and with Him; a living God and a living church live, move, and work together.
3. The church as the house of God—the Father's house—is the enlarged, universal, divine-human incorporation as the issue of Christ's being glorified by the Father with the divine glory—John 12:23; 13:31-32; 14:2.
4. First Timothy 3:15-16 indicates that the church as the house of God is the manifestation of God in the flesh:
a. These verses imply not only that Christ as the Head is the manifestation of God in the flesh but also that the church as the Body is the manifestation of God in the flesh.
b. God is manifested in the church, the Body of Christ, and the house of the living God, as His enlarged, corporate expression in the flesh.
V. Seeing the vision of the processed Triune God with His work and the result of His work will constitute us into obedient ones who will receive God's blessing—Lev. 26:3-13.