Our Aspiration to be Revived is fulfilled only by Christ as the Life-Giving Spirit

The Need for a New RevivalFor the next few weeks we will be getting into the matter of the need for a new revival. We need to be poor in spirit before the Lord, pure in heart toward Him, and have a turned heart to the Lord so that we may see the vision of the new revival, have the living of a new revival, and practice the new revival in our daily living.

There are three main aspects of the new revival: reaching the highest peak of the divine revelation, living the life of a God-man, and shepherding according to God.

As believers in Christ we have eternity in our heart (Eccl. 3:11), and God fills the God-shaped vacuum in our being; now we need to have the vision of eternity by reaching the highest peak of the divine revelation, we need to live the life of eternity by living the life of a God-man, and we need to do the work of eternity by shepherding others according to God.

May the Lord really shine on us as we open to Him and get deeper into the matter of having a new revival so that we may see the vision, have the living, and do the work of eternity.

If we see the high peak of the divine revelation, we will rise up to pray for the Lord to give us a new revival, a revival such as it has never been reported in history; this is a revival that will turn this age from the age of grace to the age of the kingdom and will bring the Lord back.

We all should 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, and they will bring in a new revival which has never been seen in history, and this will end this age.

As we endeavor to cooperate with the Lord to enter into and participate in Christ’s universal shepherding, there will be a new revival among us. May the Lord unveil us to see the vision of the age so that we may reach the highest peak of the divine revelation.

Our Aspiration to be Revived is fulfilled only by Christ as the Life-Giving Spirit

Hab. 3:2 O Jehovah, revive Your work in the midst of the years!Among all of God’s elect there has always been an aspiration to be revived. This matter of revival is the “kernel” within the “shell” of the books of the Minor Prophets. In Hab. 3:2 he prays, O Jehovah, revive Your work in the midst of the years….In his prayer for revival, Habakkuk represents all of God’s elect throughout the generations, since all of God’s people have always had an aspiration to be revived.

Actually, since the fall of man there has been in all creation an aspiration for revival, restoration, and freedom (see Rom. 8:19-23). Adam’s fall brought in corruption, slavery, and death into all the creation (Rom. 5:12), and today everything is decaying, being corrupted, and eventually dies.

All the things that are under this slavery aspire to be revived. This universal need for revival and restoration can be met only by Christ and in Christ. Only Christ – who was resurrected on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4) is the renewing power.

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.In Hosea 6:2 we have another prayer, He will enliven us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up, and we will live in His presence. Hallelujah, Christ is the reality of the third day – He not only has been raised on the third day by He is also the reality of resurrection! Christ is the element of revival and restoration for both man and all creation.

The corruption and desolation and decaying on earth today can be swallowed up only by Christ’s resurrection. How can we experience a new revival? The way to experience revival is to contact Christ by repenting and confessing our sins, failures, and darkness, thereby entering into Him as the resurrection.

“With the Lord one day is like a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:8). According to this principle, the two days here may signify the first two periods of a thousand years each, counting from A.D. 70, when the Roman prince Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, cruelly killed thousands of Jews, and scattered the Jews among the nations. From that time the Jews have been without king, without prince, without sacrifice, and without the temple, fulfilling Hosea’s prophecy in 3:4. For two thousand years God has left Israel in a dead condition. After this two thousand-year period, the third thousand years will come. The third day may signify a third period of a thousand years, that is, the millennium, the age of restoration, which will be in the reality of Christ’s resurrection (Rev. 20:6). At that time Israel will be raised up, that is, restored.
Christ was resurrected on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4), and as the pneumatic Christ, the life-giving Spirit, in resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45), He is the reality of the third day (John 11:25). Whenever we contact such a Christ, we are brought from the desolation of the two days to the resurrection of the third day.” (Hosea 6:2, footnote 1, Recovery Version)

Christ today is the Spirit; whenever we touch Christ as the Spirit, we are in the reality of being revived, and we will be raised to live in the Lord’s presence. Hallelujah, we have a way to be revived day by day!

Without being revived, we cannot do or have anything living; but when we touch the Lord and enjoy Him as the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, we will be full of life, we will be revived, and we will also revive others! We need to tell the Lord,

Lord Jesus, revive Your work among us and in us throughout the years! Revive us and fill us with Your life! We don’t want to be in desolation, under decay and corruption; restore us, revive us, and cause us to live in Your presence! Oh Lord, may there be in us a deep aspiration to be revived and may we come to You, repent, confess, and enjoy You as the life-giving Spirit so that we may be revived! Lord, bring in a new revival such as the world has not seen, a revival that will end this age and bring You back!

Having a New Revival by being Daily Revived and by Enjoying the All-Inclusive Spirit

Mal. 4:2 But unto you who fear My name will the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings, and you will go forth and leap about like well-fed calves.In creation God has a natural law: every 24h there is a new sunrising, a new beginning for the entire creation. We believers should follow the sun rising to be revived every morning. We need to have a new revival every morning; we need to have a morning revival at the beginning of every day!

We may be desolated during the day or at night, but in the morning we can have a new beginning, enjoy the Lord as the life-giving, compound, all-inclusive Spirit, and be revived!

In the morning we can enjoy Christ as the Desire of all the nations (Hag. 2:7). The Desire of all the nations is Christ (Mal. 3:1); even though many people do not know Christ, all men desire Christ.

All people desire to have peace and live a good life with virtues such as light, love, patience, humility, meekness, endurance, joy, and righteousness. Christ is the reality of peace, joy, love, patience, and all the virtues; without the nations even knowing it, what they desire is Christ. What we desire as believers in Christ is not more patience or humility – we desire more of Christ!

This Christ is also the Messenger of God with a fresh message from God to us (Mal. 3:1), and His message comes to us especially early in the morning as we spend time with Him, and this revives us. As we touch the Lord, receive Him, and enjoy Him early in the morning, we are being revived by Him and we enjoy the supply of the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit. The result is that we are like well-fed calves leaping about – we are full of life and joy (Mal. 4:2)!

By enjoying Christ as the sun of righteousness with healing in His wings, He arises in our being and His rays illuminate all our darkness and turn our death into life. May we see that our inner aspiration for revival is met only by Christ as the Spirit, and may we pay the price every morning to touch the Lord, receive the resurrected Christ as the Spirit, and be revived every morning!

Then, throughout the day we need to enjoy the outpouring of the Spirit spoken of in Joel 2:28-29. This Spirit was poured out already at the day of Pentecost and in the house of Cornelius, and all we have to do is to experience the outpouring of the Spirit all throughout the day so that we may enjoy Christ’s divinity, His humanity, the effectiveness of His death, and the power of His resurrection as our portion, our inheritance!

Lord Jesus, we give ourselves to You to live a life of being revived every morning and being filled with the Spirit every day. Lord, we desire to be revived, and we want to pay the price every morning to contact You, enjoy You, and receive You as the fresh message from God, the fresh dose of divine life that revives us and causes us to leap about full of joy life and joy! Lord, keep us contacting You throughout the day so that we may experience the outpouring of the Spirit and enjoy the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit! Amen, Lord, stir our spirit up to be daily revived and filled in Spirit!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of the Minor Prophets, msg. 35 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 1 / msg 1, Reaching the Highest Peak of the Divine Revelation (1) – The Vision of the Age.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version. Recommending the footnotes on the verses quoted in this article – they are so rich!
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Revive Thy work, O Lord! / Now to Thy saints appear! / Oh, speak with power to every soul, / And let Thy people hear! / Revive Thy work, O Lord! / While here to Thee we bow; / Descend, O gracious Lord, descend! / Oh, come, and bless us now! (Hymns #797)
    # We’re renewed and revived by the Lord day by day; / He is grace upon grace and refreshing as dew. / Shining brighter and brighter, our path’s a clear way, / As morning by morning His mercies are new. (Song on Being Revived)
    # Christ to me is so subjective, / Life imparting all the way; / As the Spirit He revives me / And refreshes day by day. (Hymns #537)

The Need for a Thorough Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s Building through us

Gal. 4:19 My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.As believers in Christ we are members of the Body of Christ, and we have the privilege and responsibility to be one with Christ, the Head of the Body to build up the church as the Body of Christ. The Lord today is building up His church by building Himself into us, His believers, through making His home in our heart through faith (Eph. 3:17); by building Himself into us, God is built into man and man is built into God for the mutual dwelling place of God and man, the church.

If we realize that God’s desire is to work Himself into His chosen people, then the goal of our work will be to minister God into others so that the Triune God may build Himself into their being. This is what a priest of God does: he first spends time in God’s presence to be infused, filled, and saturated with God, and then He brings God to man and brings man to God.

We need to be recovered to being the priesthood for God’s building; we need to allow God to build Himself into us and then cooperate with Him to minister God into others for God to build Himself into their being. The intrinsic nature of our work for God is not anything outward but the building of God into man.

The Apostle Paul worked for God, and whenever he spoke of his labor he said things like, “My children, with whom I travail in birth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). The intrinsic nature of Paul’s work was that Christ would be wrought into the believers until Christ is formed in them; for this, he struggled, he labored, and he even travailed again in birth for the believers.

Furthermore, Paul sought to present every man full-grown in Christ; for this, he labored, struggling according to the Lord’s operation which operates in him in power (Col. 1:28-29). Paul didn’t merely spread the gospel to many cities and nations – he announced Christ, ministered Christ to others, and labored and struggled over the believers until they were full-grown in Christ, having Christ living in them and being formed in them.

Paul was a priest to God, and he cooperated with the Lord to build up the church by ministering Christ to others so that God would build Himself into their being. We need to also be such persons today.

Working for God by Participating in God’s Building, the Building of God into Man

As we work for God today, we should participate in God’s building — the constitution of the divine element into the human element and of the human element into the divine element. On the one hand, the priests ministered to God; they spend much time with God, experienced God, were supplied with God, were enlightened by God, and had God as their everything (their food, their clothing, and their dwelling). On the other hand, the priests ministered God to man: they worked for God by imparting God into man for man to be built up as God’s house, God’s dwelling place.

Today we need to work for God by cooperating with God’s building, the building of God into man. Our work for God should not be with wood, grass, or stubble, but with gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12, 17); we need to build the church not with the attainments we have or our natural way of living but with the Triune God whom has been wrought into us and has constituted us through our experience of Him.

As we allow God to work Himself into us by being strengthened into our inner man by the Father through His Spirit so that Christ may make His home in our heart, we have some constitution of God that we can minister to others for the building up of the church. Christ builds His church (Matt. 16:18); only what is of Christ can build up the church. If we bring something of ourselves into the church, we mar the building of God, but if we experience Christ and then minister the Christ we have experienced into others, we build up the church.

Actually, when we minister Christ to others, God is building the church though us. The church is not merely a group of people who have been redeemed and regenerated by God; the church is the mingling of God with man, divinity mingled with humanity (Eph. 4:4-6). As such, the church is built up by Christ being added to us and by all the members ministering Christ to one another. God is building Himself into man, that is, the divine element is being constituted in the human element, and man is built into God, that is, the human element is being constituted in the divine element.

As God is being built into us through our experience of Him, we become God-men – we become the same as Christ in life, nature, expression, and function, but not in the Godhead; as we are built into God, God becomes man and lives again in us the same kind of life that Jesus lived on earth. This is the church: the mingling of God with man, the constituting of the divine element into the human element so that God may live in man and man may live in God, God being expressed through man and man living out God by being fully one with God in the mingling with God.

Our work for the Lord should be governed by such a revelation and understanding of God and God’s building. As priests to God we need to work for God by being one with Him for the building up of the Body, the mingling of God with man. The church is not built up by your natural ability to speak eloquently, sing professionally, give a touching testimony, move others to tears, make others happy, or encourage others to go on in the Lord; the church is built up by our participation in God’s building – the constitution of the divine element into the human element and of the human element into the divine element.

We need to follow the pattern of our brother Paul and minister Christ to others, labor over the saints and struggle over them so that Christ may be formed in them and live in them, and they would be full-grown in Christ.

Lord Jesus, may we be those who work for God today by participating in God’s building – the constitution of the divine element into the human element and of the human element into the divine element! Lord, save us from marring or damaging the building of God by bringing in our natural ability, our flesh, or our natural efforts; we want to build the church with the processed and consummated Triune God which has been wrought into us through our experience and enjoyment of Him. Lord, build up Your church through us. Build Yourself in us and use us as priests to dispense Yourself into others!

The Need for a Thorough Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s Building through us

As we endeavor to carry out the God-ordained way in the four steps of begetting, nourishing, perfecting, and building, our work must be based upon the processed and consummated Triune God, who is building Himself into His chosen people and building them into Him (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 3:16-17a; 4:4-6). Witness LeeAs we endeavor to carry out the God-ordained way to meet and serve through begetting new believers, nourishing the new ones with the riches of Christ, perfecting the believers to function in their measure in the Body, and building up the church through prophesying, our work must be based upon the processed and consummated Triune God, who is constantly building Himself into His chosen people and who is building them into Him. The grace of Christ with the love of God is constantly being transmitted to us through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit for our experience and enjoyment of the Triune God (2 Cor. 13:14).

The Father is constantly strengthening us into our inner man with power through His Spirit so that Christ may make His home in our heart through faith (Eph. 3:16-19) so that we may become the Body of Christ, the mingling of God with man (Eph. 4:4-6). On His side, God constantly operates in His people who just open to Him and allow Him to work in them, with the result that God is building Himself into them and He’s building them into God; on our side, we need to cooperate with Him by participating in His building, that is, by ministering Christ to others for the building up of the Body of Christ, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem.

I was really encouraged to see this high vision of the building up of the Body of Christ from this quote,

The processed Triune God is embodied in Christ and realized as the consummated Spirit. This is the God whom we worship, preach, and minister to others. Today He is building Himself into His redeemed people in order to produce a house with Himself as the element and also with something from their redeemed and uplifted humanity. This house is the church, the Body of Christ. This house is the enlargement, the expansion, of Christ, the embodiment of the Triune God realized as the Spirit. As we carry out the God-ordained way in the four steps of begetting, nourishing, perfecting, and building, our work must be based upon the processed Triune God, who is building Himself into His chosen people. (Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 201)

If we minister the building and builded God to others for their growth in the divine life, we are building up the Body of Christ, which will consummate the New Jerusalem (Col. 2:19; Eph. 4:15-16; Rev. 21:10). Witness LeeThere is a great need for the recovery of the priesthood for God’s building; God’s building is the corporate expression of Himself in Christ through His Body. In order for God to gain His corporate expression in Christ through His Body, He needs a company of priests who care for God and His heart’s desire; He needs some who would turn to Him, open to Him, and allow Him to flow into them, fill them, saturate them, and permeate them to make them one with Him, so that they may come forth to minister to others the God who has been built into them.

May our dear Lord who lives in us, who daily supplies us with Himself, to whom we are consecrated, whom we serve, and whom we love with our whole being have a thorough and unhindered recovery of the priesthood for God’s building through us and among us.

Lord, have a thorough and unhindered recovery of the priesthood for God’s building through us and among us today so that the church may be built up, the new man would come into being, the bride would be prepared, the age would be turned, and the manifestation of the kingdom would come in. Lord, gain a company of priests who care for God and His heart’s desire, some who turn to God, open to God, and allow God to flow into them, fill them, saturate them, and permeate them to make them one with Him, so that they may come forth and minister to others the God who has been built into them!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, msgs. 28-30 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Priesthood or God’s Building, week 8 / msg 8, The Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s building.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # O Lord, we give ourselves afresh, Into Your training hands to be, / Molded, shaped, and worked on daily, To be vessels of Your glory! / May all my life and work declare, Uniqueness of Your recovery / To build Your Body, prepare Your bride, To bring You back, fulfill Your longing! (Song on building the Body of Christ)
    # God’s economy is His plan to dispense Himself / Into His chosen, predestinated, and redeemed people / As their life (as their life), their life supply, (their life supply) / And their everything / To produce (to produce), constitute (constitute), / And build up the organic Body of Christ, / Which consummates the New Jerusalem. (Song on, God’s economy)
    # Grant us grace, O Lord, that we / Treasure dear the priestly call; / In the spirit serve and pray, / That Thy church be built withal. (Song on, the Priesthood)

God Meant It for Good – the Enjoyment, Experience, and Burden behind this Album

Even though you intended evil against me, God intended it for good, Genesis 50:20With the recent release of the song album, God Meant It for Good, I have had opportunity to share my enjoyment, experience, and burden behind the writing of it. There is a wonderful story behind the album and each of the 12 songs on it that brought me into a further enjoyment of God’s word and the ministry which unfolds it. The ministry on these matters in Genesis are so profoundly experiential, that I would be pleased to share my testimony of the inspiration for the album in a series of blog posts, each covering a song on the album as well as this blog covering the enjoyment, experience, and burden behind the album as a whole.

It was a morning in March of 2014 when, after having read through the section in the book of Genesis covering the life of Joseph, and having been in the midst of passing through an incredibly difficult personal situation, I felt a deep desire to write a song about Joseph and how he came to realize that although others intended evil for him, God meant it for good.

From that point on I started hearing it all in my head – the melody, the lyrics, and the harmonies. I finished the composition and then worked on the recording of the song with my wife Leslie, who sings backup vocals for our musical duo called Chords of a Man (the name being a play on Hosea 11:4, “I drew them with cords of a man”). Through writing and producing this song, I was able to enter into a rich enjoyment of the latter chapters of Genesis and the ministry on the portions in Genesis covering Jacob’s and Joseph’s experiences of God. With such an abundance of ministry on Genesis,  I realized that even this one verse, Genesis 50:20, would make a good theme for an album of songs.

Then about a month later, I was reading articles from the agodman.com website and I was completely captivated by ministry portions covering the matter of becoming a pearl gate in the New Jerusalem based on Revelation 21:21. The portions were so profoundly experiential, encouraging, and fitting to my own personal situation at the time, that I immediately began writing about it lyrically and worked on a melody that was fitting as well.

Cover art for the album God Meant it for Good by Chords of a Man

Cover art for the album God Meant it for Good by Chords of a Man

The finishing of the writing of “The Pearl” coincided with a semi-annual, week long training hosted by Living Stream Ministry that my wife and I typically attend in California. These trainings cover particular books of the Bible, and in June of 2014, we were covering the last section of Genesis. We had already covered the first two thirds in the two sessions prior going back to summer of 2013. But this time, after hearing all the wonderful messages and studying these valuable and heart felt portions about the experiences of our forefathers, I had a feeling that these messages would become the inspiration for the rest of the album.

Upon returning home, I began to dive into the messages that we just heard, and write songs almost weekly starting with Jacob’s Song, then The Birthright, Rachel,  Abraham’s Song, Isaac’s Song, Ruth’s Redemption, Joseph’s Dreams, Moriah, Severed from This Age, and lastly, Where Were You.

Back cover art for God Meant It for GoodBy December of 2014, all the basic compositions were complete yet they would still undergo various transformations from concept to final product, but what was compelling to me at that time could be summed up by the writings of Watchman Nee from The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Set 3, Vol. 48: Messages for Building up New Believers (1), Lesson Fifteen on, Hymn Singing. There Watchman Nee says,

Every hymn that is up to the standard must meet three basic requirements. If a hymn fails to meet any of these requirements, it is not a good hymn….First, the words of a hymn must be based on the truth….Second, accurate doctrines alone do not constitute a hymn. A hymn needs to be poetic in its form and structure….Third, in addition to the truth and poetic structure and form, a hymn needs to provide spiritual impact. It must touch spiritual reality. In other words, if a hymn is meant for tears, it should make you cry. If it is meant for joy, it should make you happy. When it speaks of a certain thing, it should make you feel that very thing.

What is God’s Purpose in Dealing with His People?

Thematically, the album, God Meant It for Good, attempts to juxtapose the trials and tragedies of these well-known Biblical historical figures with the glimpses of the realizations that they had concerning God’s eternal purpose as a result of their experiences of God during the trials. In a way it attempts to answer the ever present question: Why does God allow His people to suffer, or what is God’s purpose in dealing with His people? The real answer to that is found in the New Testament revelation through the apostle Paul.

According to First Timothy 1:4, God has an economy. It is a divine purpose or plan to dispense God’s life into his chosen people so that more than anything else that this world could offer they would gain God Himself. Romans 8:28 is instrumental in understanding this concept. It says that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Although it is often misunderstood to mean that if you suffer loss, God will replenish you with something better, the true meaning of the “good” here is much more profound than that.

I remember attending a conference given by brother Ron Kangas back in 1997 in which we heard about this very topic. He shared the true meaning behind this verse. Romans chapter eight follows Romans chapter seven. Chapter seven concludes with the experience of death operating in the apostle because of the fallen flesh, whereas chapter eight is the experience of freedom in the spirit as a result of being one with Christ in the reality of His resurrection. Therefore, in Romans 8:28, the “good” is that we would be brought into resurrection. The “things” in that verse (no matter how painful they may be) exactly match that part of our being that the Lord is trying to resurrect.

To me, this was the most reassuring word I could have heard while passing through trial. I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament is a picture book and that the New Testament contains the captions to the pictures. Given that all the experiences of the figures in the Old Testament are types of our experience as New Testament believers, it would seem fitting that the stories presented here in this album tell our story, and the caption is, “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose,” or to paraphrase the immortal words of Joseph, “what was meant for evil, God meant it for good.”

To hear and obtain a copy of the album, God Meant It for Good, visit the www.chordsofaman.com website or via CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play

To get free song downloads from the album, visit the Free Track section.

This is a guest blog post by brother Matthew David Fritz to introduce the history behind putting out his album, God Meant it for Good (which was based on his experience and pursuit of the Lord).

Our Work must be to Minister God into others for Him to Build Himself into them

When your days are fulfilled and you sleep with your fathers, I will raise up your seed after you, which will come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. It is he who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he will be My son... 2 Sam. 7:12-14 The Lord Jesus said, I will build My church (Matt. 16:18). How does the Lord build His church?

First of all, the church is not that physical tall building with a cross on top of it; the church is the Body of Christ composed of all the believers in Christ, those redeemed by Christ, regenerated by God, and filled with the Holy Spirit.

The church is the mingling of God and man; it is not merely an assembly of believers but the Body of Christ where Christ is the Head and all believers in Christ are the members of the Body, each being organically joined and intimately related to Christ. As such an entity, the church is something organic; therefore, the building up of the church is something organic.

In Genesis 2 we see how there were precious stones in the flow of the river watering the garden of Eden, and then the Lord build a woman out of Adam – with no other material but the element of Adam. In a similar way, the church is a building, an organic entity coming out of Christ constituted with precious stones (which are the transformed believers) to match Christ and be one with Christ.

In 2 Sam. 7 we see how David, a man after God’s heart, wanted to build God a house; God’s response was, It is not you who will build Me a house but I will build you a house, and your seed will build Me a house; I will be his Father and He will be My Son (see 2 Sam. 7:12-14).

God’s intention is not that we would build His house but that He would build Himself into our being and build us into His being, and this mutual building in Christ is the church as the building of God.

And the way we can cooperate with the Lord’s building His church is first to allow Him to build Himself into our being, and then we need to learn to minister God into others so that God would build Himself into their being and build them up into the Body of Christ for His building.

God in Christ is Within us to Build Himself into our Being and to Build us into His Being

We are God’s living, spiritual, organic house (1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:5; Eph. 2:21-22), and Christ builds God’s house, His church, in an organic way. God in Christ is within us to build Himself into our being and to build us into His being (3:17; John 14:23). He builds His divinity into our humanity and builds our humanity into His divinity in order to mingle and blend His divinity and our humanity into one entity. Witness LeeThrough believing into the Lord Jesus we were regenerated with God’s life, and God in Christ came into us to live in us and build Himself into us. God in Christ is within all His believers to build Himself into their being and to build them into His being by making His home in their heart and constantly visiting them to make them a mutual abode (see Eph. 3:17; John 14:23).

God in Christ builds His divinity into our humanity and builds our humanity into His divinity in order to mingle us and blend us with Himself and thus produce a dwelling place, the church, the house of God, the Body of Christ.

The Christ who has already been built into us through our experience of His making His home in our heart is the builded God, the God who is in us and dwells there; the God who is actively building Himself into us the building God.

We need to cooperate with God’s building of Himself into us and of us into Himself by praying one with Paul, Father, strengthen us through Your Spirit into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our hearts through faith!

As we open to the Lord, fellowship with Him, talk to Him about everything during the day, pray over His word, sing, pray, and call on the name of the Lord, He is making His home in our heart a little more. Little by little, day by day, the Lord is making His home in our heart to build Himself into us and build us into Himself for the church, the house of God.

The Christ who is built, constituted, into us, is both God’s house and our house; Christ is God’s house and as He is building Himself into us, He becomes our house – we abide in Him and He abides in us, and in Christ we and God are mingled together and abide together as one entity (see John 14:2, 23; 15:4).

May the Lord enlighten us to realize that God in Christ now lives in us and He is constantly building Himself into our being and building us into His being for Him to obtain a mutual dwelling place, the church as the Body of Christ, the house of God.

Lord Jesus, build Yourself into us and build us into You for the building up of the church! Keep us abiding in You as our home as You abide in us as Your home. Lord, make Your home in our heart a little more today. Cause us to be strengthened into our spirit through the Spirit so that You may make Your home in our mind, emotion, will, and conscience. Lord, we allow You to work Yourself into us and build Yourself into our being. We treasure You, we love You, and we open to Your daily building and working in our inner being!

Our Work must be to Minister God into others for Him to Build Himself into them

If we realize that God desires to work Himself into His chosen people, then the goal of our work will be to minister the building and builded God into others so that the Triune God may build Himself into their being. Witness LeeIf we see that God’s main work today is to build Himself in Christ into our being and to build us in His being for the building up of the church, we will also do the same thing – we will work one with the Lord to minister God into others so that God would be built into them and they would be built into God.

In every aspect of our work for the Lord, whether preaching the gospel, feeding the believers, establishing churches, perfecting the saints, the intrinsic element must be that we minister the building and builded God into others (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 3:17).

It’s not adequate to simply present to others some knowledge concerning God’s economy, the word of God, or other divine and spiritual things; we need to be filled with God and saturated with God by prayer, fasting, repentance, and confession, and we need to minister God into others.

When we are filled with the Triune God, we will flow Him out to others for their enjoyment, nourishment, and building up. The way Christ builds up His church is by building Himself into us and by being ministered through us into others for them to be built up in God and for God to be built into them.

As seen in 2 Sam. 7, the Triune God desires to work Himself into us to make us His home (which is Christ with the church) and to produce a seed (the all-inclusive Christ); Christ is the house and Christ is the seed – He is everything to us in God’s building.

If we see that God desires to work Himself into His chosen people, then the goal of our work for the Lord and with the Lord will be to minister the building and the builded God into others so that the Triune God may build Himself into their being by making His home into their heart.

Lord, build Yourself into our being for the Body! Teach us how to minister the processed and consummated God into others so that You may build Yourself into their inner man!Of course, we must preach the gospel, take care of the new ones, shepherd the believers, and perfect the saints, but the essence of our work should be to minister God into others. We need to consider, How much of Christ has been built into the saints we meet with?

When we meet together, do we minister Christ to one another for the building up of God into man and of man into God? This is God’s main goal, and all other things that are so necessary are for this and with this in view. We need to see this central matter that, no matter what aspect of the work is our service in, our intrinsic work is to minister God into one another.

We all should reconsider the work we are doing for the Lord and ask how much of Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God has been wrought into those whom we have brought to the Lord.

Paul labored day and night over the saints so that Christ would make His home in their hearts, be formed in them, and live in them (Gal. 2:20; 4:19; Col. 1:28; Eph. 3:14-19). In the church life we should practice one thing: to minister the processed and consummated Triune God into others so that He may build Himself into their inner man (2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Cor. 3:9-12).

We need to pray that the Lord would teach us and perfect us to work in this way by cooperating with Him to minister God into others for the building of God into man and of man into God.

Lord, build Yourself into our being for the Body! Cause the desire of Your heart become the desire of our heart so that we may cooperate with You to minister the processed and consummated Triune God into others so that He may build Himself into their inner man. Lord, teach us how to work for You and with You in the way of ministering God into man for God to be built into man and for man to be built into God. May many seeking believers reconsider their work in the church and focus on ministering the building and builded God into man!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, msgs. 24, 26 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Priesthood or God’s Building, week 8 / msg 8, The Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s building.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Lord, Your purpose and Your heart’s desire / Is to build Your church, Your temple. / For this purpose You created man / As a vessel to contain You. / You were processed as the Spirit / Now You’re working in our being. / To Your image You’re conforming us. / Lord, Your work is glorious. / May this vision, Lord, re-center us, / Save us from our old self-centeredness. / Be our center and centrality, / And our inward harmony. / Give us sight to see Your purpose— / Build Yourself into our being! / Mind, emotion, will, Lord, we give to You— / All our heart Your home must be. (Song on God’s central work)
    # There’s nothing that we are / Or have or do well-pleasing; / We need Thee, glorious Christ, / Inwrought into our being. / O Lord, our heart’s still vacant now! / Come in and settle down. / Come saturate and permeate. / And fill us with Yourself. / Our spirit You have filled / At our regeneration, / But mind, emotion, will / Await Your saturation. / How much of You is built in us / To make our heart Your home? / O Triune God, we welcome You. / Come build, oh, build in us. (Song on letting Christ make His home in us)

The Meaning of, You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect

You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt. 5:48One of the hardest verses for a young believer to understand is in Matt. 5:48, You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Immediately most believers take this as a matter of “trying to be a better person”, attempting to remove old sinful habits that don’t match their new calling to be sanctified in Christ. This isn’t the first time this word “perfect” is given to us by God.

And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, I am the All-sufficient God; Walk before Me, and be perfect.(Gen. 17:1)

The first verse was spoken by the Lord to people who did not know Him very well in a general sense and most people received it as a commandment or an ordinance. The second verse was spoken between two friends who knew each other for 24 years.

It would be hard to argue with the Lord about being perfect as He gives the Sermon on the Mount in front of thousands of people but what Abraham experienced was in a more intimate setting. God first appeared to Abraham when he was 75 years old and now he was about to turn 100. If I was Abraham I would have said

God don’t You know me by now? Are we not friends? I’m not perfect. I can’t even fulfill the promise You gave me in a way that makes You happy. I’ve lived on this earth for 99 years and I’m not getting any better – I’m only getting worse…what do You mean when You say ‘be perfect’?

What did God mean anyways? How someone answers this question is very exposing in terms of what insight they really have concerning God’s purpose. Let’s be honest, do we really know what is going on here? Do we really know what God means, what He is saying? Doesn’t God know that Abraham gave up Sarah to Pharaoh and that he would have the same serious failure again later with the king of Gerar?

Abraham doesn’t even believe God initially when He says that he will have a child by Sarah and instead pleads with God asking him “Oh that Ishmael might live before You” (Gen 17:18). Abraham’s faith wasn’t perfect and neither was his testimony. What part of Abraham was perfect? Only the Christ that would be worked into Abraham would be the perfection God had planned for Abraham.

God did not need Abraham to do anything to fulfill His covenant with Abraham. When Abraham tried to do something by his flesh, his natural strength to fulfill God’s covenant only offended God. By this we see God needed Abraham but God did not need Abraham to do anything for God. For example, if you are thirsty you need a cup of water. You don’t need the cup to do anything for you. You simply need the cup to contain the water. If the cup was to try and help you fill it with water this would be troublesome.

God needs a man on the earth to receive God’s blessing and God’s supply as the all-sufficient God. God needs to work Himself into this man so that Christ can be produced out of this man.

This is not easy to see in the Bible; in fact, it is completely hidden. We shouldn’t fault anyone for interpreting these verses some other way because what God is saying to Abraham, what God means when He says “be perfect” is hidden. 90% of Christians won’t help you understand these passages by telling you,

To be perfect does not mean to be a better Christian, no to be perfect means that the God who is perfection is worked into us to produce Christ out from us. Only the Christ that is worked into us and lived out of us is the perfection God is seeking.

This is straight from the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, but where do we see this in the Bible?

God’s covenant with Abraham is that God would give Abraham a seed and that he would be the father of many nations. The seed fulfills God’s purpose. Who is the seed? Issac is the seed. Who is Issac? Issac is a type of Christ (Gal. 3:16 and note Gen 22:2 and footnote 1 in Recovery Version Bible). But in order to do this God needs to first work Himself into Abraham.

This matter of God working Himself into man – where do we see this in the Bible? Without the New Testament it would be impossible to see this. We need to put together a number of different verses to even begin to understand this.

  • Gen. 15:6 – And Abram believed Jehovah, and He accounted it to him as righteousness.
  • Rom. 4:9 – For we say, Faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness
  • Rom. 1:17b – But the righteous shall have life and live by faith.
  • Rom. 4:12-13 – (we) walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham … for it was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham or to his seed … but through the righteousness of faith.
  • Gal. 3:14 – In order that the blessing of Abraham might come … that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
  • Gal. 3:5 – He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit … does He do it out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?
  • Gal. 3:6 – Even as “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”
  • Gal. 3:7 – Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham
  • Gal. 3:26 – For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
  • Rom. 4:17 – as it is written, “I have appointed you a father of many nations” in the sight of God whom he believed who gives life to the dead and calls the things not being as being.
  • Gal 4:22-28 – Abraham had two sons … one (Issac) of the free woman (Sarah) … (who) was born through promise … These things are spoken allegorically, for (Sarah typifies God’s covenant) … and you, brothers, in the way Issac was, are children *of promise*
  • Gal. 5:4 – you who are being justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
  • Rom. 6:14 – you are not under the law but under grace.
  • Gal. 3:18 – For if the inheritance is of law, it is no longer *of promise*; but to Abraham God has graciously given it through promise
  • Rom. 4:16 – Therefore the inheritance is out of faith that it might be *according to grace*, so that the promise may be certain to all the seed, not to that which is of the law only, but also to that which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

What kind of Bible do you have? Does your Bible have Abraham believing, being justified and receiving the Spirit as the divine life to be regenerated as a son of God, and then growing in life by experiencing the God of resurrection to produce Christ by being joined to grace (typified by Sarah) and growing further in life by trusting and depending on the God of resurrection so that he can offer to God the Christ which was worked into him and was produced out from him through faith?

Abraham is in fellowship with God. Abraham walks with God. Abraham intercedes for Lot. Abraham obeys God. Does he do all of this out from himself? Is his willingness to trust in the God of resurrection and sacrifice Issac out from himself? Let’s read again from the Scriptures,

  • Gen 22:5 – And Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey; and I and the boy will go over there, and we will worship, and then we will return to you.
  • Heb. 11:17 – By faith Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac; indeed he who gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten,
  • Heb. 11:18 – Of whom it was said, “In Isaac shall your seed be called”;
  • Heb. 11:19 – Counting that God was able to raise men even from the dead, from which he also received him back in figure.

Abraham believed in the God of resurrection for Issac to be produced and Abraham believed in the God of resurrection for Isaac to be offered back to God for His purpose. What does “be perfect” mean in the context of Abraham’s experience? How then do we now read Genesis 17 or Matthew 5?

  • Genesis 17:1 – And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, I am the All-sufficient God; Walk before Me, and be perfect.
  • Matthew 5:48 – You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

To attempt to be perfect by trying harder to meet God’s standards is the law. This verse is not telling us that we should keep the law by trying to improve ourselves to meet God’s standards. It is telling us that perfection is a matter us believing that Christ has died so that we can have God as our righteousness so that we may have another life a higher life – the divine life – and live by faith.

God’s covenant with us is to give us His life and this life is just Christ Himself who lives in us and lives out perfection itself. Perfection for the believer is not merely an attribute or an outward practice. Perfection is a person the most wonderful Christ. As we enjoy this marvelous Christ living in us we experience grace and this grace labors in us.

This is my paraphrasing of the below verses:

  • Gal. 2:21 – I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness is through law, then *Christ has died* for nothing.
  • Gal. 3:11 – By law no one is justified before God … “The righteous one shall *have life* and *live* by faith”;
  • Gal. 3:21 – Is then the law against the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given which was able to *give life*, righteousness would have indeed been of law.
  • Gal. 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is *Christ who lives in me*; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  • 1 Cor. 15:10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me did not turn out to be in vain, but, on the contrary, I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me.

Christ’s process of perfecting the believers in Hebrews chapter 10:

  • 1 For the law … can never by the same sacrifices year by year … perfect those who draw near.
  • 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
  • 9 He then has said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.”
  • 10 By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
  • 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

I highly recommend the ministry book the Crystallization-Study of the Epistle of James by Witness Lee which focuses on the matter of Christian perfection. In this volume brother Lee uses the phrase “genuine christian perfection” more than 20 times. What is “genuine christian perfection?” It is nothing more and nothing less than a believers experience of the Triune God in all of His riches and all of His divine attributes.

This is a guest blog post by bro. Joshua D. from his enjoyment of the Lord in His word and in the ministry.

God’s Intention is to Build Himself into our Being and to Build us into His Being

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith. Eph. 3:16-17What does the Body of Christ need today? Have you ever wondered, what is the greatest need in the Body of Christ?

Some may say that the Body needs more gifted members while others may emphasize more social work, practical help, or preaching the gospel. But what the Body of Christ mainly needs today is ministers with the ministry of the new covenant.

Throughout history we can see that great gifts given by the Lord to the Body have helped a little but have divided the Body into sects and denominations; what the Body needs is not more gifted members but more ministers, more people who are constituted, produced, and formed by the experience of the riches of Christ through many sufferings, consuming pressures, and the killing work of the cross.

This is what the Apostle Paul was, and this is what the Lord is looking to obtain today. Such people have God wrought into them, and when they speak, they minister the builded God and the building God into others. They are real priests: they minister to God, they are filled with God, and they have God built into them; then, when they speak or do anything, they simply minister the Christ which was wrought into them to others for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

In our ministry as priests, we all need to be one with the building God (the God who actively builds Himself into us) and with the builded God (the God who has already been built into us) to build God into man and man into God (see Eph. 3:16-17; John 14:2, 23).

What the Body of Christ needs today is more Ministry through the Cross

What the Body of Christ needs today is not more gifts but ministry; ministry is constituted, produced, and formed by the experiences of the riches of Christ through sufferings, consuming pressures, and the killing of the cross. RKThere’s a difference between gifts and ministry; being a gift makes you a “special person”, one who is naturally gifted and who also has something of the Lord to minister to others, while having the ministry means that you enjoy and experience Christ through many sufferings and pressures so that Christ would be wrought into you.

What the Body of Christ needs to day is not gifts, intelligence, or abilities; the Body needs ministry through the cross. What is needed today is not eloquent brothers who can open the word of God clearly and can give messages on any topic but those who are constituted with Christ by their experiences of the riches of Christ through sufferings, consuming pressures, and the killing work of the cross.

We are all on our journey from gift to ministry; we may discover we have a certain ability which can be useful to the Lord in the church life, but we need to go through all kinds of experiences so that God would be wrought into us.

The principle of a priest is that he ministers God to man; what kind of God does a priest minister to man, and in what way is he ministering God? As priests to God we need to be able to minister to others the God who has been built into our being.

It is good to spend time with the Lord daily, but merely having a time with the Lord in His word is not enough; we need to be constituted with God through our experience of the riches of Christ through pressures, sufferings, and the cross.

The new covenant ministers minister to others what they are; their ministry is what they are in their inner being, and they speak the Christ that has been wrought into them. To minister as priests the building and builded God into the saints is not a work, an activity, or a shallow matter; the Body needs saints who have a history in God over years and decades, saints who have God wrought into their being so that whomever they meet and whatever they say, God just flows through them.

The Apostle Paul was such a one; as he was writing 2 Corinthians he was outwardly in prison but inwardly he was in the Holy of Holies functioning as a priest, and so he testified, death operates in us and life in you – he was a priest in the Jordan river, holding the ark for all the people to enter into the good land.

We need to place ourselves into the Lord’s hands and ask Him to give us the experiences that we need so that Christ would be wrought into our being. Placing ourselves into the Lord’s hands to become ministers with the ministry of the new covenant, that is, to be real priests to God, is the most secure place to be.

It will be enjoyment beyond what we have imagined and pressures until we can’t bear them, but God will be with us, He will work Himself into us, and when we meet others we will just impart to them the God who has been built into us!

Lord Jesus, we place ourselves into Your hands: give us the experiences we need that will produce this ministry for the building up of the Body of Christ! Lord, we choose to be ministers of the new covenant; we do not rely on our ability or gifts but we seek to have God wrought into our being. Lord, You must have the priesthood. You must build Yourself into us through our experiences of the riches of Christ so that we may minister the building and the builded God to others for the building up of the Body of Christ!

God’s Intention in His Economy is to Build Himself into our Being and Build us into His Being

God’s economy and goal according to His heart’s desire are to build Himself into man and to build man into Him (2 Sam. 7:12-14a; Eph. 3:17a). God in Christ is within us to build Himself into our being and to build us into His being. Witness LeeGod has never intended to be “the God in the heavens whom the people on earth worship and respect reverently”; He wants man to contact Him, fellowship with Him, and experience Him so that God would work Himself into man and build man into God for God’s building, the church as the Body of Christ.

God’s New Testament economy is for the processed and consummated Triune God to be wrought into us to become our life and our being (see 1 Tim. 1:4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 3:16-17a; Rom. 8:9-10, 6, 11). God went through a process to become man and then become the Spirit, and now as the Spirit He is in our spirit to dispense Himself into every part of our inner being until God is built into us and we are built into God.

God’s economy and goal according to His heart’s desire are to build Himself in Christ into our being (see 2 Sam. 7:12-14a; Eph. 3:17; John 14:20). He has no intention that we do things for Him or serve Him without having God wrought into us and without us being built into God.

We need to pray that the Father would strengthen us with power through His Spirit into our inner man so that Christ would make His home in our hearts through faith so that we may apprehend with all the saints what the vast dimensions of Christ are and become the church, the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19).

God’s economy and goal according to His heart’s desire are just to build Himself into man and to build man into Him. We have seen that Athanasius said, “He [Christ] was made man that we might be made God.” This means that as God’s children we are “baby gods,” having the life and nature of God but not the Godhead. However, not even this is God’s goal. God in Christ is within us to build Himself into our being and to build us into His being. He builds His divinity into our humanity and builds our humanity into His divinity in order to mingle and blend His divinity with our humanity into one entity. This is like the meal offering: fine flour mingled with oil for the satisfaction of both God and man. (Witness Lee, Life Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, pp. 186-187)

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him. John 14:23Our ministry as priests to God is to be one with the Lord to build God into man and man into God; we need to experience and enjoy Christ and have Him wrought into our being through our experience of Him, and then we need to cooperate with Him to minister Christ into others.

God in Christ is within us to build Himself into our being and to build us into His being; He is making His home deep down in all the inward parts of our being, and in this way He is building Himself into us and us into Himself, making us a mutual abode for God and man (see John 14:23).

God is actively building Himself into us (He is the building God), and there is a measure to which we have God built into our being (He is the “builded God”); we need to cooperate with God to minister the building and the builded God to others for the building up of the church.

As He is building Himself into us and building us into Himself we become a mutual abode: God dwells in us and we dwell in God; we live a life of an organic union with the Lord, a mutual indwelling of God and man, and even a life of coinherence.

In His Godhead God will always be transcendent, and we will never partake of this; but in His economy He is deeply subjectively related to us, and we are united, mingled, and incorporated with Him. We can cooperate with God’s operation in us by simply praying to Him,

Father, strengthen us through Your Spirit into our inner man so that Christ may make His home a little more in our heart today. Lord, it is Your desire and intention to work Yourself into us, and therefore we pray, Lord, work Yourself into us and build us into Yourself for Your building, the church as the Body of Christ! Nothing is more precious to us than You as the treasure in our earthen vessel. Spread Yourself from our spirit into our mind, emotion, and will to occupy and saturate our entire soul with Yourself.

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, pp. 168-187 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Priesthood or God’s Building, week 8 / msg 8, The Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s building.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Lord, grant me the experiences / To produce such a ministry. / Through revelation and sufferings, / Lord, constitute Yourself in me. / By Your all-fitting life, / Lord, I learn to live. / By Your sufficient grace, / Lord, make home in me. (Song on the need for ministry)
    # God’s economy and goal / According to His heart’s desire / Are to build Himself into our being / And to build us into His being / In order to mingle His divinity with our humanity / Into one entity (one entity)— / The Body of Christ, / Which consummates the New Jerusalem! (Song on God’s economy)
    # Oh, strengthen my spirit, Lord Jesus, / Oh, strengthen my spirit, I pray; / Oh, strengthen my spirit with power / And spread to my heart today. / Into my heart, into my heart, / Spread into my heart, Lord Jesus; / Make home today and have Your way / In all of my heart, Lord Jesus. (Hymns #1134)

The Coordinated Body of Priests, the Priesthood, is God’s Built-up Spiritual House

1 Pet. 2:5 You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.God’s heart’s desire to have a corporate expression in this universe is fulfilled by the priesthood; what the Lord is doing today is to recover the priesthood, and we as believers in Christ need to cooperate with Him to be those who are brought into His presence and even into the Lord Himself until we are one with Him.

Throughout the Bible we see how the priesthood was strengthened among God’s people, and then it was lost; then God came in to recover the priesthood, and His glory shined through His people, but then God’s people lost the priesthood. In Christianity today the priesthood has been lost, damaged, and degraded; everyone does “what’s right in their own eyes” and according to their interpretation of the Bible.

May the Lord have mercy on us to recover the priesthood among us in all the local churches so that He may have a dwelling place, a corporate people who express Him with His glory.

According to 1 Pet. 2:5 and 9 we are a holy priesthood being built up as a spiritual house to be God’s dwelling place; we are being built up as a coordinated body of priests – the priesthood – to be God’s built-up spiritual house, the church.

May the Lord shine on us to see our need and to see God’s need; our need is to be those who spend time with God to be filled and saturated with God, and we need to spend time to fellowship with the saints in spirit so that we may be built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood. God’s need is to have a group of people who live in His presence and are brought into God Himself so that they may be one with God for the fulfillment of His purpose; this is the priesthood.

The Coordinated Body of Priests, the Priesthood, is God’s Built-up Spiritual House

It is not the spiritual life lived in an individualistic way, but the spiritual life lived in a corporate way, that can fulfill God’s purpose and satisfy His desire. Witness LeeAll believers in Christ are regenerated by God with His divine life and nature, and they are living stones being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5). We are a spiritual house – we are God’s spiritual building, God’s dwelling place today, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem.

As believers in Christ we are in the process of being transformed from men of clay into precious stones so that we may be built up into God’s house, God’s building.

Praise the Lord, there’s a building work going on right now, and it is carried out by the process of “petrification”, that is, transformation: as we daily and even moment-by-moment turn to the Lord, come to Him and drink Him in His word, we are being transformed into stones suitable for God’s building. Together, we are a spiritual house and a holy priesthood.

The holy priesthood is the spiritual house. In the New Testament three Greek words are used in relation to the priests: hierosune, referring to the priestly office, as in Heb. 7:12; hierateia, referring to the priestly service, as in Heb. 7:5; and hierateuma, referring to the assembly of priests, a body of priests, a priesthood, as in this verse and v. 9. The coordinated body of priests is the built-up spiritual house. Although Peter did not address his two Epistles to the church or use the term church in this verse in stressing the corporate life of the believers, he did use the terms spiritual house and holy priesthood to indicate the church life. It is not the spiritual life lived in an individualistic way, but the spiritual life lived in a corporate way, that can fulfill God’s purpose and satisfy His desire. He wants a spiritual house for His dwelling, a priestly body, a priesthood, for His service. Peter’s view concerning the believers’ corporate service in coordination is the same as Paul’s in Rom. 12. This service issues from the three vital steps in the spiritual life: being born anew (v. 2a), growing in life by being nourished with Christ (v. 2b), and being built up with the believers. (1 Peter 2:5, footnote 7 on, priesthood, Recovery Version Bible)

God is not after individual priests who individually shine for God and are so filled with God that everyone can see that and thus admire them. What God is after is a priesthood, a “hood of priests”, an assembly of priests who are coordinated together to be the built-up spiritual house for God’s dwelling and expression.

On the one hand we need to personally live before the Lord, be in God’s presence, and be brought into God Himself that we may be one with Him, and on the other hand we need to be built up with the saints into a coordinated body of priests in our meetings and service for God’s expression (see 1 Pet. 1; Rom. 12).

God wants a spiritual house for His dwelling, a priestly body, a priesthood, for His service. We enjoy Christ, eat Christ, drink Christ, and let Christ flow into us and through us, and when we come together, we offer up spiritual sacrifices through Christ and with Christ to God for His satisfaction. It is not the spiritual life lived in an individual way that God is after but the spiritual life lived in a corporate way that can fulfill God’s purpose and satisfy His desire (Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; 3:11; Gen. 1:26).

What God desires is the church life – the spiritual house and the holy priesthood in Peter’s writings – as a spiritual house for His dwelling, a priestly body for His service. May we be those who in reality and practicality are God’s spiritual house for His dwelling and satisfaction, and may we be built up as a priesthood for HIs service. When we have the priesthood, we have the building, the corporate expression of Christ.

If we don’t have the priesthood, we don’t have the building; if we don’t have the priesthood and we don’t care about it, this is serious. May the Lord recover us back to His original intention of having a coordinated body of priests that are His built-up spiritual house!

Lord Jesus, keep us in the process of transformation from being clay into being precious stones suitable for Your building. Lord, may Your divine life live and grow in us, and may Your divine nature separate us and sanctify us that we may be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. Gain a coordinated body of priests that are filled with God and function in their measure in coordination in the church life Lord, gain Your built-up spiritual house, Your holy priesthood, among us in the local churches today!

Being One with the Building and Builded God to Build God into Man and Man into God

In our ministry as priests, we need to be one with the building and builded God to build God into man and man into God. 2015 ITERO, msg. 8, outlineConcerning our ministry as priests, we need to be one with the building and builded God to build God into man and man into God (see Eph. 3:16-17; John 14:2, 23). In our spiritual pursuit of Christ we may desire to be “a man after God’s heart” such as David was…but a person may be after God’s heart and yet be without God, without having God wrought into Him.

What God is after today is not one who merely knows God’s heart but one into whom God has been wrought and into whom God is built. God’s desire is to work Himself into His chosen people so that He may flow through them into others for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

If we realize that this is God’s desire, we will cooperate with Him and work together with Him to have God built into our being and minister Christ to others so that the Triune God may build Himself into their being.

Our work today is not merely to save souls for God but to minister God into man so that this God would build Himself into man and make man a part of His building, the church as the Body of Christ. This is why when we speak to one another we should not merely impart Bible knowledge or doctrines but exercise our spirit to minister something of Christ into others so that the Triune God may be built into their being!

The God whom we minister is not just the building God – He is also the builded God! Hallelujah!

If we minister anything besides Christ to others, our work will be wood, grass, and stubble; but if we cooperate with the Lord to be transformed and have God built into our being, we will minister the Triune God as gold (the Father in His divine nature), silver (the Son in His redemptive work), and precious stones (the Spirit in His transforming work) into others for the building up of the church (1 Cor. 3:12).

We may now understand how this happens since we have a limited mind, but we can pray these things to the Lord and tell Him,

Lord Jesus, we want to be those who are not only according to Your heart but who also have God wrought into them. Lord, work Yourself into us and build God into our being that we may be precious stones for God’s building. Give us the experiences we need that we may be constituted with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and we would thus minister the building and the builded God into others! Lord, make us one with You as the building and builded God to build God into man and man into God for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, The Priesthood and God’s Building, chs. 11-13 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Priesthood or God’s Building, week 8 / msg 8, The Recovery of the Priesthood for God’s building.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # By Thy life and by its flowing / I can grow and be transformed, / With the saints coordinated, / Builded up, to Thee conformed; / Keep the order in the Body, / There to function in Thy will, / Ever serving, helping others, / All Thy purpose to fulfill. (Hymns #840)
    # Now the church is but the priesthood; / Thus the priesthood formed we need; / When the priests are knit together, / Then the church is built indeed. / Only serving by our praying / Will our spirits mingled be; / Stressing prayer as much as preaching- / Thus the church is built for Thee. (Hymns #848)
    # Building God and man in one / Is their work before the Lord; / In this fellowship divine / Saints are built in one accord. (Hymns #849)