We need to Represent God and Function as the Acting God to Shepherd According to God

We need to Represent God and Function as the Acting God to Shepherd According to GodAs believers in Christ and members of the Body of Christ we are commissioned by the Lord to shepherd His sheep, the saints in the church, according to God (1 Pet. 5:2). To shepherd according to God requires that we are one with God, we are filled with God, we are reconstituted with God, we live God, we represent God, and we minister God; in other words, we need to become God in life, nature, expression, and function so that we may shepherd others according to God. The only way we can shepherd God’s sheep according to God is by becoming the same as God in life and nature.

We have seen what it means for us to be one with God, be reconstituted with God, live God, and express God, and today we need to see what it means to represent God. As those who would shepherd according to God, we need to represent God and function as the acting God. We were created in God’s image and according to His likeness so that we may express God and represent God.

When man fell, he didn’t just fail to express God but also to represent God. In His economy, however, God is dispensing Himself into us as life, and we have not only the ability to express Him and also represent Him. We need to become God in life, nature, expression, and function, so that we may become the acting God, God in action. We may look at ourselves and not see that we are the acting God, but God’s desire and His work is to make us the same as He is in life and nature, expression and function!

There are a few such examples in the Bible of people who were “the acting God”, one with God in His authority to represent Him on earth.

We need to Represent God and Function as the Acting God to Shepherd According to God

In Moses God had one to Represent Him and Execute His will

In Exodus we see how Moses was one with God to represent God and execute His will on earth (see Exo. 7:1; 3:16-18; 5:1). Pharaoh was stubborn and he didn’t believe or know God, but Moses came to represent God, manifest Him, and execute His will.

By the end of Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh, the latter believed in God because he saw Moses representing Him and executing His will. We need to be one with the Lord wherever we go and whatever we do so that we may go with Him, represent Him, and execute His will on earth.

Samuel Represented God and he was the Acting God

1 Sam. 2:35 And I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in My heart and in My mind; and I will build him a sure house; and he will go before My anointed continually.In 1 Samuel we see how Samuel was the acting God; he knew not only God’s plan but also His heart, and his whole being and God’s heart were one (see 1 Sam. 1:11; 2:35; 7:3; 8:22). By the end of his ministry, Samuel reached the highest position on earth – he was directly under God, representing God on earth as a prophet, a priest, and a judge.

He had God’s oracle and God’s administration, and he was the acting God on earth. Samuel cared for and was faithful to do what God desired and what was on God’s mind; Samuel’s being and God’s heart were fully one.

Samuel was a priest not by birth but by God raising him up particularly. As a priest Samuel replaced and, in a sense, terminated the stale Aaronic priesthood. He did not rebel against the house of Aaron, and he did not usurp anything of the house of Aaron. As Samuel was growing, God arranged the environment to perfect him and to build up his capacity to do everything that was needed for God to change the age. God used Samuel to change the age not through rebellion but through the way of divine revelation. Samuel was a man of revelation (3:21), and he did everything according to what he saw. Furthermore, he was a man according to God’s heart — a copy, a duplicate, of God’s heart. As such a person, he would never do anything rebellious. (1 Sam. 2:35, footnote 1, Recovery Version Bible)

We need to see God’s revelation, be one with His heart, care for His interest, and be one with Him so that we may be the acting God on earth. Our living and our working need to be for the carrying out whatever is in God’s heart.

Lord, make our heart a duplication of Your heart. We want to be one with You for the carrying out of whatever is in Your heart. May we see a revelation of Your heart’s desire, be one with You, and be the acting God on earth because our being and Your heart are one! Oh Lord, saturate us and permeate us to the point that we live You and express You, and our heart becomes a duplication of Your heart to shepherd others according to You by representing You!

Elisha behaved as God’s Representative, the Acting God – We today can be the same!

Elisha the prophet, as the man of God, behaved himself as God’s representative, as the acting God (see 2 Kings 4:9). He went to stay in the home of a wealthy woman in Sunam, and she told her husband, This person is a holy man of God! She saw that she gave God hospitality in her house. In his ministry Elisha the prophet, as the man of God, behaved as God’s representative, and he was the acting God.

Today we as believers in Christ can be the same – the Lord breathed Himself into His disciples in John 20:22, and He commissioned them with His authority saying, Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven, and whoever sins you retain will be retained! The Lord Himself has the authority to forgive sins, and He has been dispensed in us with His authority.

When we preach the gospel to others and a sinner repents and prays and the pneumatic Christ enters into him, we can tell him, Your sins are forgiven! – and the Lord will back up our words, because we are the acting God! All authority was given to the Lord in heavens and on earth, and we have to go and preach the gospel and be God in function to shepherd people according to God!

Paul was an Ambassador of Christ – he Represented God and he was the Acting God

2 Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.Paul was an ambassador of Christ, one who represented God, and he was the acting God (see 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 12, 15-16; 2:10; 10:11; 11:2). In Corinth there was a brother who committed incest, and the brothers there didn’t do anything about it; Paul, however, as one who was one with God, being God in function, said, Remove this evil man from among you – purge out this leaven (see 1 Cor. 5). But then in 2 Cor. 2, Paul was again one with the Lord to forgive this repenting brother in the person of Christ. Paul was one with God, constituted with God, living God, and expressing God, so he was God in function to forgive this sinning brother in the person of Christ.

The highest authority in this universe is God, and God has given all authority to Christ (Matt. 28:18), who is now the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14). This Christ is the Head of the Body, and all the members of the Body are authorized with the heavenly authority to represent God! We need to be not only the captives of Christ but also the ambassadors of Christ representing Him on earth with His interests.

We shouldn’t think that this is too high for us – we are members of the Body of Christ, and we are all representatives of the Head. Hallelujah, we are ambassadors of Christ, those who are one with Him to be the acting God on earth, representing His interests on earth and exercising His authority.

Lord Jesus, thank You for making us Your ambassadors, Your representatives on the earth. We want to be one with You as the Head of the Body to exercise Your authority and represent You with Your interests on earth. Lord, reconstitute us with Yourself, live in us, and be expressed in us, so that we may represent You with Your authority and shepherd others according to God. Oh Lord, may we be one with You to represent You on earth as members of Your Body taking You as our Head!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of 1 Thessalonians, p. 84 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Lord, I love You, I’m charmed by You. / I open my whole being to be infused by You. / Lord, do whatever You have to do in me / To make me what You need. / Lord, make my heart a duplication of / Your heart in every possible way. / O Lord, do something in me for You, / And keep my heart single for You. / Lord, I love You. (Song on becoming Christ’s reproduction)
    # Oh, what a name to me is given— / A son of God, by second birth! / I represent Him on the earth, / He represents me now in heaven. (Hymns #485)
    # The new covenant ministers are ambassadors of Christ / Carrying out the ministry of reconciliation / To bring us into God and to make us one with God. (Songs on being ambassadors of Christ)

We Become God’s Expression by Eating, Digesting, and Assimilating God to Live God

1 Thes. 2:12 So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.The high peak of the divine revelation in the Bible is that God became man to make man God in life, nature, expression, and function, so that God would obtain a corporate expression in the universe in man. Through regeneration we receive the divine life with the divine nature, and daily we are growing in life to express God and shepherd others.

In the human life we are born of our parents and have their human life and nature, but we will never have our father’s fatherhood – we will be his son / daughter and we will express him and even look like him, but the fatherhood is his. Similarly, we are born of God with His life and nature to be sons of God, and we are becoming the same as God in life, nature, expression, and function, but not in the Godhead – the Godhead is God’s. We are participating in the divine life and nature so that we can live God in our humanity; when we enjoy the Lord, eat Him, and partake of Him, He increases in our being and He’s expressed in our living.

This week we are focusing mainly on the matter of shepherding according to God; shepherding is our function, but this function issues from our constitution and our living. Before we can shepherd others according to God we have to be one with God, be filled with God, be saturated with God, and be constituted with God so that we may live God and express God.

The only way we can shepherd according to God is by us becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead so that we would become the reproduction and continuation of Jesus, the first God-man and the good Shepherd. In shepherding others according to God we shouldn’t focus mainly on techniques or practices outwardly but on the inward constitution and partaking of God so that His attributes would fill and saturate our virtues to be expressed through us.

Participating in the Divine Life and Nature to Live God and Walk Worthy of God

Our daily life should actually be God Himself and thus be a life of living God; to walk in a manner worthy of God is to live God, that is, to express God in our daily living (1 Thes. 2:12; 1 Cor. 10:31). Witness LeeIn 2 Pet. 1:4 we see that we are partakers of God’s nature; we can participate in God’s nature because His life is in us. We are participating in the divine life and the divine nature so that we can live God in our humanity. In Gal. 2 we see how Peter ate and drank with the Gentile believers until some from James came, and then he withdrew; Paul rebuked him and basically said, Peter, you are not walking straightforward according to the gospel; you had a vision of the Body of Christ composed both of the Jews and the Gentiles, but you don’t live the God-man living according to the high peak of the divine revelation!

It’s not a matter of eating or not eating with the Gentiles but of Christ living in you and me! As Christians we need to realize that we have God living in us, and our daily life should be the life of a God-man by partaking of God’s life and nature. We can never become God in His Godhead, but it is our portion to become the same as He is in life, nature, and expression. We need to be released from being misled by doctrines and other teachings and brought back to the central line of God’s economy, which is to live Christ.

Our daily life should actually be God Himself and thus be a life of living God; to walk in a manner worthy of God is to live God, that is, to express God in our daily living (1 Thes. 2:12; 1 Cor. 10:31). How can we walk in a manner worthy of God? To walk worthily of God is to have the same kind of life as the Lord Jesus had, that is, to live a God-man life. As the church in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 1:1) we need to have a walk worthily of God in a practical way by living God and expressing God in our living (1 Thes. 2:12).

Only God can have a living that is worthy of God; we need to live God in our daily living, since only God can be worthy of God, match God, or compare with God. If we realize that we are God-men, men born of God with His life and nature, we will have a living that is worthy of God, a living of “no longer I but Christ” (Gal. 2:20). When Christ lives in us, we are pleasing to God, and others are being spontaneously shepherded by Him in us. May the Lord impress us with our need to have a daily life of living God so that we may walk in a manner worthy of God and thus become God’s expression in our living!

Lord Jesus, we want to walk in a manner worthy of God by living God to express God in our daily living. Lord, may our daily life be actually God Himself so that we may live a life of living God! We want to enjoy You, partake of Your divine nature, and allow Your divine life to grow in us so that You may be expressed in us and we may live Christ. Lord, may You be the One living in us today. Only You in us can live a life worthy of God. Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through us for God’s expression and for the others’ shepherding according to God!

We Become God’s Expression by Eating, Digesting, and Assimilating God to Live God

God’s intention in His economy is to dispense Himself into us as our life and nature, making us the same as He is in life and nature to express Him. God’s desire is that we would be one with Him and live Him for His corporate expression. The Need for a New Revival, Outline 6According to the entire revelation in the Holy Word of God, God’s intention in His economy is to dispense Himself into us as our life and nature, making us the same as He is in life and nature to express Him (Eph. 3:16-21; 1 John 5:11-12; Col. 3:4; 2 Pet. 1:4). What God desires to gain is a corporate expression in man, and He gets this by dispensing Himself into us as our life and nature to make us the same as He is until we express Him in our humanity.

Our expression comes from our living, and our living is based on our constitution; when we are constituted with God, we will live out God, and we become God’s expression. God’s eternal purpose is to work Himself into us as our life so that we may express Him.

We were created in God’s image and likeness: we have His outward form and appearance, and we have the human virtues to contain His divine attributes – we were created in God’s image and likeness with the capacity to receive and express God (Gen. 1:26). God wants to have His image multiplied, enlarged, and expanded in all the human beings He created, and His purpose is to work Himself into us as our life so that we may express Him (Eph. 1:11; 3:11; 2 Tim. 1:9).

When we look at others we should see not what can be seen outwardly (piercings, tattoos, clothes, hair style, race, etc) but have God’s view of man – man is made to contain and express God!

The God of whom we have been constituted will express Himself from within us. In what way is the God whom we eat and digest and of whom we are constituted expressed from within us? God is expressed in us by means of His attributes. God is love and light, and He is holy and righteous. When we eat and drink of God, we shall live Him as love, light, holiness, and righteousness. These divine attributes will become our virtues as the expression of God. How can we tell that someone has been eating and digesting God? We can tell this by the expression of God from within him. This expression of God is God’s speaking. The human virtues that are produced through assimilating God with His divine attributes become the expression of God, and this expression is actually God’s speaking. (Witness Lee, Life-study of 1 John, p. 29)

The human virtues that are produced in us through our eating, digesting, and assimilating God with His attributes become the expression of God (Eph. 4:1-3). Witness LeeHow can we express God? Only by eating God, digesting God, and assimilating God so that we may reconstituted with God and live God to express God. Our human virtues need to be filled with God’s divine attributes so that we may express God as the Lord Jesus did. The human virtues that are produced in us through our eating, digesting, and assimilating Good with His attributes become the expression of God.

As human beings, we live among other human beings, and we meet in the church life with other God-men who are also human beings; we can keep the oneness of the Spirit by means of certain virtues such as lowliness, meekness, long-suffering, and bearing one another in love (Eph. 4:1-3). We have a little bit of these virtues, but we need to enjoy God, eat God, digest God, and assimilate God so that He may become the content and reality of our human virtues of lowliness, meekness, long-suffering, and bearing one another in love.

The most important thing related to shepherding is love: we have some love, but it is not that real; real love is unconditional (sets no conditions on others in order to love them), it is indiscriminate (loves every one no matter what or who), and it is unlimited (you can’t reach the end of it). Our human love is limited, discriminating, and conditional; we need to have God dispensed and wrought into our human virtues through our eating Him, digesting Him, and assimilating Him, and then we will have the virtues we need to shepherd others. God’s desire is that we would be one with Him and live Him for His corporate expression (1 Cor. 6:17; Phil. 1:21a; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:16), just as Christ expressed God as the individual God-man in His living.

May we be those who live in God’s economy by allowing Him to dispense Himself into us and have Him wrought into our being so that we may be one with Him, reconstituted with Him, and live Him for His expression, the Body of Christ.

Lord, work Yourself into us a little more today so that we may be constituted with You and live You to express You. We come to You, Lord, to eat You, digest You, and assimilate You so that we may be filled with You and have Your divine attributes expressed through our human virtues. Lord, it is Your desire that we would be one with You and live You for Your corporate expression – Amen, make us fully one with You, work Yourself into us, and live in us for Your corporate expression in humanity!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of 1 Thessalonians, p. 84 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # It’s no longer I that liveth, / But Christ that liveth in me. / It’s no longer I that liveth, / But Christ that liveth in me. / He lives, He lives, / Jesus is alive in me! / It’s no longer I that liveth, / But Christ that liveth in me. (Song on Christ living in us)
    # God’s eternal economy / Is to make man the same as He is / In life and nature, / But not in the Godhead / And to make Himself one with man / And man one with Him / Thus to be enlarged and expanded in His expression / That all His divine, that all His divine / Attributes may be expressed in human virtues. (Song on God’s economy)
    # God’s intention is for Christ / To be wrought into His chosen people / That they may become the sons of God / For His corporate expression. (Song on Expressing God)

Being Metabolically Constituted with God to Live God and Shepherd According to God

Shepherding according to God requires that we be constituted with God. Shepherding according to God – as the Lord Jesus and Paul did in their living and ministry – is by first becoming one with God, being constituted with God, living God, expressing God, representing God, and ministering God so that we may be God in function in shepherding others. It is one thing to feel compassion for someone and care for them, encourage them to go on with the Lord, and be with them in tough times, and it is something completely different to shepherd according to God.

The Lord Jesus as the good Shepherd is in our spirit today shepherding us by living in us and by arranging all things and situations around us for our growth in life and transformation. As the pneumatic Shepherd in our spirit, the Lord wants us to be one with Him in shepherding others: in His heavenly ministry, He is shepherding the saints, and we need to be one with Him to shepherd the saints. Furthermore, we need to be constituted with God essentially and inwardly so that we may live God and our living would be a shepherding of others.

We shepherd others by cherishing them and nourishing them; if we are not constituted with God, we will shepherd others according to our natural preference and with our natural constitution, and the result is not the building up of the church as the Body of Christ. We need to be one with God and have God’s nature, be infused with His desire, shepherd others in His way and for His glory, and not try to shepherd others according to our preference, carrying out our interest and purpose, and according to our disposition.

Today we would like to see that in order for us to shepherd others according to God we need to be constituted with God so that we may live God.

Shepherding According to God Requires that we are Constituted with God to Live God

Col. 3:10-11 And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.Shepherding according to God requires that we are constituted with God so that we may live God. Even though shepherding is our function, this function issues from our being and our living. We cannot shepherd others according to God if we are not constituted with God; if we still live in our natural man and from time we check “what would Jesus do?” we do not shepherd others according to God.

God desires to dispense Himself into our being so that our being may be constituted with His being to be one constitution with His being; He wants to make His home in our heart and fill us with Himself as the Spirit so that we may be the Body of Christ (see Eph. 3:17; 4:4-6; Col. 3:10-11). The essence of the Body is the Spirit; when we are filled with the Spirit and allow the Lord to make His home in our heart, we are being constituted with His element inwardly.

As the Divine Being, God infuses us with His element, causing us to be the same as He is in life and nature but not in the Godhead (2 Cor. 13:14). The way God accomplishes His economy is by dispensing Himself into our being so that we may be constituted with His element and become the same as He is in life, nature, expression, and function – and this function is the shepherding according to God. We need to pay attention to enjoying the Lord, eating Him, drinking Him, and feeding on Him so that He may water us, feed us, refresh us, and nourish us.

God desires to dispense Himself into our being so that our being may be constituted with His being to be one constitution with His being. As the Divine Being, God infuses us with His element, causing us to be the same as He is in life and nature but not in the Godhead. The Need for a New Revival, outline 6Every day we need to eat the Lord to be constituted with Him. We are what we eat, and we express what we’re constituted with; we need to eat the Lord, drink Him, and be constituted with Him, and we will live Him out. We need to eat the Lord as the Spirit in His word by taking in the word of God by means of all prayer and petition. The secret of the God-man living and shepherding according to God is eating the Lord to live because of Him, just as Jesus ate the Father and lived because of Him (John 6:57).

It is not a small thing to pray-read the word of God; by praying over God’s word with the exercise of our spirit in all kinds of prayers we actually eat the Lord, and this produces a constitution in us. The Lord as the Spirit is embodied in His word, and the words He speaks to us when we turn our heart to Him and pray over His word with the exercise of our spirit are Spirit and are life (John 6:53). We need to read God’s word, apply His word to our being, and pray with the word of God so that we may extract, touch, enjoy, and be filled with the Spirit and with life.

If we daily pray-read the word of God, there will be a constitution of God in our being, and we will live God – we will live what we’re constituted with, and this will be a shepherding to others according to God. If we are serious about being constituted with the Lord, we will eat Him, and we will overcome the devil as He did (Matt. 4:4) and live a life of expressing God to shepherd others according to God.

Lord Jesus, we give ourselves to You to be constituted with You by eating You in Your word. Dispense Yourself into our being so that our being may be constituted with Your being. Lord, infuse us with Your element and cause us to become the same as You are in life and nature but not in the Godhead. We want to eat You, drink You, breathe You in, digest You, and be constituted with You so that we may live You and shepherd others according to You!

Being Metabolically Constituted with God to Live God and Shepherd According to God

God’s economy is to work Himself into us so that we may receive Him as our life and life supply in order to live Him. Our daily living is something spontaneous, not something deliberate or planned. We live according to what we are and where we are, and we live out our constitution. Once we are constituted with God, we will spontaneously have a certain kind of living that matches our constitution – we will live God. In our daily living we don’t make conscious deliberate decisions about what we say and do – many things just happen; living just happens.

God’s way is not to outwardly correct us, adjust us, and improve us so that we may express Him a little more today – this would be the way of applying makeup to someone’s face. God’s way is to transform us metabolically by coming into us to reconstitute us inwardly with Himself so that we may live out God spontaneously.

God is not trying to teach us how to imitate Christ outwardly so that He may have a group of people who do their best to live like Christ; He wants to nourish us, water us, and infuse us with all His riches into our inner being until we are constituted with Him and even filled with Him to live Him out.

There is a great difference between God’s economy and the natural human concept. Our concept is that after we are saved we should make up our minds to improve our behavior. Probably every genuine Christian has made such a decision. According to our concept, we need to improve ourselves. Conscious of our weakness, we beg God to help us. However, God does not answer this kind of prayer. The more we pray that He will help us to improve, the less He will do. On the contrary, our behavior may even worsen. The reason for this is that the concept of receiving help from God to improve our behavior is contrary to God’s economy. God’s economy is to dispense Himself into us and to work Himself into us that we may take Him as our life and life supply in order to live Him. This is not to have an improved human character; it is to live God. According to His economy, God’s intention is to impart His element, His substance, and the ingredients of His nature into our being that we may live Him. (Life-study of Philippians, pp. 324, 323)

WWJD does not work; by the time we ask ourselves this question when we are about to do something, we already did something not according to God. When he was stoned to death, Stephen did not ask himself, What Would Jesus Do in my situation now as I’m dying….? Rather, he was so filled with Christ and constituted with Him that he was one with Him to speak what He spoke when He was on the cross.

God’s economy is to work Himself into us so that we may receive Him as our life and life supply in order to live Him (John 11:25; 6:48, 57). We need to eat the Lord, take Him as our life supply, and be reconstituted metabolically with Him so that we may live God and shepherd others according to God.

Lord Jesus, save us from our natural concept of asking You to improve us and help us to be better Christians. Lord, dispense Yourself into us and work Yourself into us so that we may take You as our life and life supply, be constituted with You, and live You. We want to pay the price to be constituted with God organically and metabolically so that we may spontaneously live out God and shepherd others according to God.

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of Jeremiah, msg. 32 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Into our innermost / Intrinsic constitution, / Come, Lord, Yourself dispense / By constant, fresh infusion; / Transform us, Lord, and work Yourself, / As God’s embodiment, / Into our heart, and life each part, / With Your reality. (Song on being Constituted with God)
    # We have found the way to live by Christ— / Pray His Word and call His name! / This—the eating, drinking—has sufficed / And its worth we now proclaim. (Hymns #1153)
    # Thou in the Word art the Spirit and life, / Thus by the Word I may feed upon Thee; / Thou dost as Spirit in my spirit live, / Thus I may drink in the spirit of Thee. (Hymns #811)

Shepherding According to God by being One with God to Shepherd According what He is

In order to shepherd according to God, we need to become one with God, be constituted with God, live God, express God, represent God, and minister God.This week we are exploring the deeper meaning and implication of the expression, “shepherding according to God” in 1 Pet. 5:2. The Lord Jesus as the good Shepherd took good care of His sheep when He was on earth, and now in His heavenly ministry He still cares for us, His flock, by interceding for us and by ministering God to us.

Furthermore, Christ as the good Shepherd is now the life-giving Spirit in our spirit, and we are becoming His reproduction – we are becoming the ones shepherding others according to God. God put us in His flock where there’s only One Shepherd – Christ Himself – and we are all His sheep; this one Shepherd is being reproduced and multiplied in us to make us good shepherds to those around us.

In order for us to shepherd according to God we first need to be one with God – we need to be joined to Him and be one with Him when shepherding others. In this union with God, gradually, God will dispense Himself into us and we will be constituted with God day by day; then, we will live out what we are constituted with – we will live God, and this living will be the expression of God. In the expression of God issuing from our oneness with God, living of God, and constitution with God, we will represent God with His authority and we are able to minister the God constituted into our being.

According to the entire revelation in the word of God, in order for us to shepherd according to God we need to become one with God, be constituted with God, live God, express God, represent God, and minister God. Let us now see in more details what does this mean.

To Shepherd According to God is to Shepherd according to What God is in His Attributes

God is love, light, holiness, and righteousness; to shepherd according to God is to shepherd according to what God is in His attributes.Basically, to shepherd according to God is to shepherd according to what God is in all His attributes. In His economy God is saturating and filling our human virtues with His divine attributes to saturate, uplift, and enrich them, so that God would be expressed through us. There are many divine attributes – what God is in His life and nature – but the foremost of them are love, light, righteousness, and holiness.

God is love (1 John 4); He not only exercises love toward us or loves us – He is love. To shepherd according to God means that we have to become God in the attribute of love. We are NOT love; we are for and in ourselves, but we have become sons of the heavenly Father, and we are to be perfect in love as He is perfect (Matt. 5:35-38). This is a promise from the Lord: the divine life of the Father, who is love, is in us, and we will be as He is perfect in love! We need to have faith in the divine life in us which will operate in us to make us the same as our Father in life, nature, and expression, but not in His Godhead!

God is light (1 John 1:5), and Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12); furthermore, by believing into Christ we become the light of the world, and we who were one darkness are now light in the Lord – therefore we walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8). The One who is the light of the world is being dispensed into us as light, and we become that light – we will become the city of light, New Jerusalem. Shepherding according to God means shepherding in love and in light.

God is righteousness, and we are becoming the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). God is holy, and we shall be holy as our Father is holy! We shouldn’t look at ourselves and see how much we “look like God” in the attributes of love, light, holiness, and righteousness, but we should enjoy the Lord and allow Him to fill us and saturate us until we are fully one with Him and we shepherd others according to what He is.

We cannot shepherd others according to God if we don’t have God in us; we need to shepherd the young ones, the weak ones, and the backsliding ones according to God as love, light, holiness, and righteousness. Without shepherding others according to God, there’s no way for us to minister life to others.

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming into us and living in us to make us Your reproduction as the good Shepherd. Lord, we want to shepherd others according to God by enjoying You and expressing You in Your attributes of love, light, holiness, and righteousness. Lord, may our shepherding of others be filled with God as light, love, holiness, and righteousness. Reproduce Yourself in us today that we may shepherd others according to God!

If we would Shepherd according to God, we need to Become One with God

John 15:4 Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.The basic principle of the Bible is that, in His economy, God is making Himself one with man and man one with Him (see John 15:4; 1 Cor. 6:17); this is the high peak of the divine revelation, God’s economy. God has an economy, a plan with many arrangements, and His aim is to have a group of human beings who have His life and nature inwardly and image and likeness outwardly, and this corporate man is the Body of Christ who lives Him and expresses Him.

God desires that the divine life and the human life would be joined together as one life with one living (see John 6:57; Gal. 2:20). God’s main purpose is to make Himself one with man and make man one with Him; the Lord Jesus said, I am the vine, and you are the branches….abide in Me, and I in you. We were once separate and apart from the Lord, but through repentance and regeneration we have been grafted into Him; now we are one with Him organically, and all we have to do is to abide in Him so that He may abide in us. If we abide in the Lord, He will abide in us, and He and us will be one, having one life, one nature, one living, and one expression.

At the time of our regeneration we have been spiritually grafted into Christ; we were a branch in a “sour tree” but we have been grafted into Christ, the grape-vine tree; now His life flows in us and we are organically joined to Him as one. The Lord Jesus came from and with the Father to do the Father’s will, and He lived because of the Father – He was “grafted” into the Father, taking the Father as His source and everything; now we as branches in Christ need to eat Him, be filled with Him, and live because of Him as we abide in this organic union with Him.

We can shepherd according to God FIRST by being one with God organically and by abiding in the Lord, in this organic union with Him. In 1 Cor. 7 Paul was one with the Lord in all circumstances, situations, and conditions (see 1 Cor. 7:17, 24). In this chapter he deals with the problems in the marriage life, where there can be many difficulties…but he remained one spirit with the Lord as he talked of some of the issues. Paul was one who loved the Lord, cared for the Lord’s interest, was absolutely for the Lord, and in every respect he was obedient, submissive, and satisfied with God and with the circumstances arranged by Him.

Being one with God implies that we are for Him, we love Him, we care for His interest, and we are in every respect obedient to Him and are satisfied with Him and with the circumstances He arranged for us. To become one with God we need to have any differences between us and God eliminated; we need to be fully reconciled.

We were reconciled with God judicially through the death of His Son, but now we need to be reconciled further to God until all the things in us that don’t match God or are His nature are torn down and rebuilt with God Himself. To become one with God we need to allow Him to flow in us and remove anything that is not of Him in us, so that we may be fully reconciled to Him and be one with Him in all our living as God-men and functioning a shepherds.

Lord Jesus, thank You for making us one with You by grafting us into You as the vine. Lord, we choose to abide in You and we allow the flow of Your life to remove anything that is not according to You in us. Lord, we love You, we care for Your interest, and we want to be obedient to You and satisfied with You and with the circumstances You have arranged for us. Reconcile us further to You, Lord until there’s no difference between us and You but we are fully one with You to shepherd others according to God!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1975-1976, vol. 1, “Living in the Spirit,” chs. 1-3, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # By Thy love we are Thy children, / Abba Father calling Thee; / Light disperses all our darkness, / Till, like Him, Thy Son, we see. / Thou art love! Thou art light! / In the Son as life Thou art; / Love expressing, light illum’ning / Thou dost life to us impart. (Hymns #13)
    # I am just a branch, and You’re the vine. / As I dwell in You, everything is fine. / Here I’d like to be, Lord, all the time. / Here I’m Yours, dear Lord, and You are mine. / I’m a branch that’s been, Lord, grafted in. / I’m supplied in You in this life union. / Here Your riches, Lord, in this sweet life flow. / As I dwell in You, I will surely grow. (Song on Abiding in Christ)
    # He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. / Our life is a life that’s in organic union. / As a branch is in the vine, / Grafted, His life and mine intertwine. / Lord, I am joined to You! / One spirit with You; / One spirit, not two. / Lord, we are joined to You: / One spirit… with You. (Song on being Joined to Christ)

Being One with Christ in His Heavenly Ministry to Shepherd God’s Flock, the Church

1 Pet. 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God among you, overseeing not under compulsion but willingly, according to God; not by seeking gain through base means but eagerly.In the previous articles we have seen what it means to shepherd according to God by taking a closer look at the pattern of the Lord Jesus and the pattern of the Apostle Paul. A pattern gives us a way practically how to do a certain thing, and the Lord Jesus lived out a God-man life and a life of shepherding, setting forth a pattern for us to follow.

The Lord today wants to bring in a new revival, the ultimate revival, which will close this age and bring the Lord back. This ultimate revival begins with seeing the highest vision of God’s eternal economy, which is that God became a man to make man God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Based on seeing such a high vision, we will have a God-man living so that we may become in reality the same as God to express His divine attributes through our human virtues. Then, this God-man living has a function, which is to shepherd people according to God; this is to become God in function.

According to the high peak of the divine revelation we are becoming God in life and nature (by regeneration), expression (by having a God-man living), and in function (by shepherding others according to God). We cannot shepherd others according to God unless we see a clear vision of God’s economy and we have a God-man living. To shepherd according to God requires that we become God, live God, and minister God.

The vision of God’s eternal economy is that, in His economy, God becomes one with man and man becomes one with God so that the expression of God, which He had in the individual God-man Jesus Christ, would be enlarged and expanded in His Body, the Body of Christ, which consummates in the New Jerusalem. Based on such a high vision we do well to pray,

Lord, do what You have spoken and what You intend to do in me! May this vision penetrate, govern, influence, and guide my daily living! May I have a God-man living that expresses You and is a shepherding to others for them to enjoy God, be filled with God, and be saturated with God for His corporate expression!

Being One with Christ in His Heavenly Ministry to Shepherd God’s Flock, the Church

John 21:16 He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep.When the Lord Jesus was on the earth He was the good Shepherd who came to His sheep so that they may have life and have it abundantly, and that He had other sheep (us, the Gentiles) which He must lead to join with them (the Jewish believers) to be one flock (the church) under one Shepherd (Christ).

In His earthly ministry the Lord shepherded those around Him; He saw that the Israelites were like sheep harassed by their leaders; they were cast away, like sheep not having a shepherd (Matt. 9:36).

In the Gospel of John we see specifically nine cases of shepherding: in ch. 3 the Lord shepherded Nicodemus, a moral and religious man; in ch. 4 a dying person and an immoral person, in ch. 5 an impotent man, in ch. 6 the hungry people, in ch. 7 the thirsty people, in ch. 8 a woman under a bondage of sin, in chs. 9-10 a blind man in religion, in ch. 10 He refers Himself as the good Shepherd, and in ch. 11 He shepherds a dead person, Lazarus.

In the gospel of John we see that the infinite eternal God as the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14) so that man may become God in life and nature (John 14-17), and the Lord Jesus as the first God-man had a God-man living and He shepherded people. A great part of the Lord’s earthly ministry was His God-man living to shepherd people; this is what we as His reproduction and continuation should do – we should realize we are God-men, born of God with His divine life and nature to express God in our living and shepherd people according to God.

The gospel of John ends with the Lord being reproduced in many others by breathing Himself with His life into them so that they may also shepherd people according to God. The One Shepherd was reproduced in many shepherds in resurrection.

Today in His heavenly ministry the Lord Jesus is still shepherding us: He is the High Priest to intercede for us according to God, and He is ministering God into us – this is shepherding, to cherish by interceding and to nourish by ministering. In John 21 we see how the Lord incorporated the apostolic ministry on earth with His heavenly ministry in the heavens. The Lord recovered and restored Peter in his love for the Lord, and He commissioned him to shepherd His sheep by being one with Christ as the pneumatic Shepherd in the heavens and in Peter.

Though we can’t see it, Christ is the good Shepherd right now shepherding us by living in us; His indwelling is His shepherding of us; also, He is working in our environment to arrange all things, situations, and circumstances so that more of God would be added to our being.

Christ’s shepherding of His flock includes His caring for their outward things and also their inner being, their souls. He takes care of the things concerning their souls by overseeing their souls. Christ indwells us to be our life and everything, but He is also overseeing, observing, the condition and situation of our inner being. He shepherds us by caring for the welfare of our inner being and by exercising His oversight over the condition of our soul, our real person. (Witness Lee, Crystallization-study of the Gospel of John, pp. 131-132)

As the Head of the Body He has set some as “shepherds and teachers” (Eph. 4:16) to shepherd the saints and perfect them to be one with Christ in His heavenly ministry as the good Shepherd. The Lord’s need today is that every one of us would be perfected to shepherd others according to God by being one with Christ in His heavenly ministry.

To shepherd others includes cherishing them and nourishing them to take an all-inclusive tender care of God’s flock, which is the church as the Body of Christ. In His heavenly ministry the Lord Jesus continues the shepherding that He began in His earthly ministry (John 10:11, 14-16; Heb. 13:20-21), and we on earth need to be one with Him to receive His shepherding and shepherd others according to God.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being the High Priest to intercede for us and the Minister of the heavenly places to minister God into us so that we may be shepherded by You as the Good Shepherd in Your heavenly ministry. Lord, we want to be one with You in Your heavenly ministry today to shepherd others according to God. Lord, we love You, we enjoy and receive your inward and outward shepherding, and we want to cooperate with You to shepherd others according to God today in the church life for the building up of the Body!

To Shepherd According to God is to Shepherd According to God’s Nature, Desire, Way, and Glory

To shepherd according to God [1 Pet. 5:2] means to shepherd according to God’s nature, desire, way, and glory, not according to man’s preference, interest, and purpose... [we] should shepherd the saints as the flock of God according to God’s choice, desire, intention, and preference. (Witness Lee, Truth Lessons — Level Four, vol. 3)When the Lord Jesus was on earth expressing God and shepherding people, Peter was so impressed with this matter of shepherding that he himself charged the elders to shepherd the saints according to God (1 Pet. 5:2). He didn’t just say, Elders, shepherd the flock of God, but he said, Shepherd according to God the flock of God among whom God placed you. This means that it may be possible for us to shepherd others not according to God but according to our preference, our interest, our purpose, and our disposition.

To shepherd others according to God is to shepherd them according to God’s nature, His desire, His way, and His glory, and not according to our preference, interest, purpose, and disposition (2 Cor. 4:2, 5-6). We may be preferential when it comes to shepherding others: we may consider some to be “more promising” while others we don’t evaluate as high; if the Lord were to shepherd His sheep in that way, we all would not be here!

The Lord Jesus shepherded people entirely according to God – He didn’t exercise His preference or will in His shepherding. Before He chose the twelve apostles, He spent the whole night before God in prayer, and He chose them according to God; He knew that Judas will betray Him and He knew the disposition of His disciples, but He didn’t exercise His preference to “choose the good ones”.

Even His closest companions, Peter, James, and John, were not according to His natural preference; they were many times stumbling Him or even desiring to cast fire on earth to destroy the cities that didn’t receive them….but the Lord shepherded them nonetheless. In the same way the Apostle Paul, who was a Jew of the Jews, a Pharisee, a learned person in the law, and with a great burden for the Jews, did not exercise his preference to preach the gospel ONLY to the Jews but became the apostle to the Gentiles.

Paul shepherded people according to God by living Christ; he had a God-man living to magnify Christ, and his shepherding of people was not according to his personal burden by according to God. He even longed for the saints in Phillipi in the inward parts of Jesus Christ; his love, care, and yearning over the saints was not natural but an issue of his God-man living. Shepherding according to God means we do not “rule over the flock” but take an all-inclusive tender care of the saints in the church, which is the flock of God.

Shepherding according to God requires suffering for the Body of Christ, even as Christ suffered (Col. 1:24), and this kind of shepherding enables the elders to be rewarded by God with the unfading crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4). To shepherd according to God means that we don’t exercise our preference, our interest, and our purpose, but we shepherd others according to God’s choice, desire, intention, and preference.

Lord Jesus, we want to be one with Christ to shepherd others according to God. Save us from shepherding others according to our preference, interest, purpose, and disposition. Lord, we want to shepherd others one with You according to Your nature, desire, way, and glory, so that the church may be built up to be the Body of Christ, Your corporate expression. Lord, may we experience the dispensing of the Divine Trinity so that we may shepherd others according to God!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Bill Lawson’s sharing in the message for this week, and Crystallization-study of the Gospel of John, msg. 13 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 6 / msg 6, Shepherding according to God (2) Becoming One with God, Being Constituted with God, Living God, Expressing God, Representing God, and Ministering God to Shepherd according to God.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # My Shepherd’s face is how I live, / I love to look at Him. / Though He might lead through shearing trial, / But still I follow Him. / Just as the Father’s presence cheered / Him through each suffering day, / ’Tis once I saw His tender care / That here I want to stay. (Song on the Lord as the Shepherd)
    # When I’m with the saints, / Christ we pursue! / Seeking for You! / Here loving You! / When I’m with the saints, / Christ we do share! / And for each member care! / When I’m with the saints, / Christ we employ! / Without alloy! / Christ we enjoy! / When I’m with the saints, / Hopeful am I! / They are my life supply! (Song on Shepherding the Saints)

Love is the Most Excellent Way to Be and Do anything for the Building up of the Body

Love is the most excellent way (1 Cor. 12:31b). How do we shepherd people? Love is the most excellent way. Love is the most excellent way for us to prophesy and to teach others. Love is the most excellent way for us to be anything or do anything. Love prevails. We should love everybody, even our enemies. Witness LeeThe Lord Jesus as the good Shepherd is today being reproduced and multiplied in us all as His sheep, His believers, by our cooperation with Him through the exercise of our spirit to be one with the Lord as the inward organic shepherd. Once it was only ONE Good Shepherd, but this One has become the life-giving Spirit to come and comfort us and shepherd us within by being one with our spirit!

We need to read the Gospels and see how the Lord shepherded people, and we need to be one with Him to shepherd others back to God to be enjoying all His riches as members of His household. The Apostle Paul was a pattern on how to be a good shepherd – he cooperated with the Lord as the indwelling Good Shepherd to the uttermost, and he did not merely preach the gospel, establish churches, and write epistles to the churches, but he also shepherded the sinners and the saints back to the enjoyment of God.

Yesterday we saw how Paul was like a nursing mother and an exhorting father, and he taught the saints both publicly and from house to house by admonishing each one of them with tears, declaring to them all the counsel of God. He wrote Christ into the believers, and the believers were also written in his heart; thus, the believers were a living letter of Christ, and Paul had the believers written on his heart.

In all he did and wherever he went, Paul had an intimate concern for the believers, and he even came down to the weak ones’ level so that he could gain them; he didn’t despise or put aside those who were weak or who stumbled, but he burned for them and did his best to cooperate with the indwelling Good Shepherd to gain them back for Christ. What a pattern we have in Paul!

Today we want to see even more ways in which Paul was one with Christ to shepherd the saints, and we want to be those who follow his pattern inwardly by praying that the Lord would make us such ones.

Being Willing to Spend, be Utterly Spent, and be Poured out as a Drink Offering

Phil. 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and I rejoice together with you all.The apostle Paul was willing to spend what he had (that is, his possessions) and to spend what he was (that is, spend his being) for the sake of the saints (2 Cor. 12:15). He spent his possessions and even his own being on the saints because he loved the saints and wanted to cherish them in the humanity of Jesus and nourish them in the divinity of Christ so that they would grow in life, enjoy Christ, and be an acceptable offering to God.

Paul was like a drink offering being poured out upon the sacrifice and service of the saints’ faith (see Phil. 2:17; Judg. 9:13; Eph. 3:2). What he received from the Lord was for the saints (“to me for you”); he was one with Christ as the wine producer, sacrificing himself for others’ enjoyment of Christ. He enjoyed Christ to such an extent that he could be poured out as a sacrifice to God upon the believers’ faith through the shedding of his blood (see 2 Tim. 4;6; Phil. 2:17 and footnote 1 in Recovery Version Bible).

We need to enjoy the Lord to such an extent that we are one with Christ as the wine producer to become a drink offering being poured out upon the sacrifice and service of the saints we are shepherding, so that God would be satisfied. We need to love the Lord and enjoy Him to such an extent that we are one with Him to be willing to spend all that we have and all that we are for the sake of the saints, that is, so that the saints would grow in life unto maturity for the building up of the Body of Christ!

Paul was a minister of the Spirit (not of the letter) to honor God by being filled with the Spirit to walk by the Spirit for God’s glory and to honor man by ministering the Spirit to them for their supply (see 2 Cor. 3:6, 8; Gal. 5:16, 25; Judg. 9:9). We need to be filled with the Spirit as the cheering wine so that we may walk by the Spirit for God’s glory to honor God and to minister the Spirit to others to honor man.

We honor God by being filled with the Spirit, and we honor man by ministering the Spirit to man; when we are filled with the Spirit and we flow the Spirit out to man, God is satisfied, man is shepherded, and the church is built up to be the testimony of Jesus on earth.

Lord Jesus, we love You. Make our heart a duplication of Your heart. We want to enjoy You and love You to the point that we are willing to spend all that we have and even all that we are for the sake of the saints. Lord, keep us enjoying You until we are one with You to be poured out as a drink offering for others’ enjoyment of Christ and for Your satisfaction! Lord, may our life and work be a satisfaction to You and a cheering and encouraging to others in the Lord!

Love is the Most Excellent Way to Be anything and Do anything for the Building up of the Body

The church is not a police station to arrest people or a law court to judge people but a home to raise up the believers. The church is a loving home to raise up the children. The church is also a hospital to heal and to recover the sick ones. Finally, the church is a school to teach and edify the unlearned ones who do not have much understanding. Because the church is a home, a hospital, and a school, the co-workers and elders should be one with the Lord to raise up, to heal, to recover, and to teach others in love. The Vital Groups (W. Lee)In his writings Paul revealed what is the most excellent way for us to do anything and to do anything for the building up of the Body of Christ: LOVE (see 1 Cor. 8:1; 12:31; 13:4-8). Nothing but love can keep us in a proper relationship with the Lord (see Rev. 2:4 and footnote 1, Recovery Version), and nothing but love can motivate us and strengthen us to shepherd others according to God and care for them in a proper way.

Love is the most excellent for us to be a brother in the church life, a husband to our wife, a shepherd for the new ones, and a responsible one in the church. Love is the most excellent way for us to be anything and to do anything. Love is the most excellent way to teach others, prophesy, sing, exhort others, and do anything in the church. Our zeal may wane, our willingness to shepherd others may decrease, but love will prevail.

When we are one with the Lord and are filled with Him as love, we will love everybody – even our enemies. When we enjoy the Lord to the point that we are filled with His love, we will love even the bad ones and the not-so-promising ones in the church – we will love the good and the evil without any discrimination, even as our heavenly Father does. The way we can and should shepherd others is in love.

The reason Paul took care of the saints, spent everything he had and was on them, and was even poured out as a drink offering over them was because he was one with the Lord to love the saints. In ourselves we have love ONLY for “me, myself, and I”; at most we love our family members, our relatives, and some of our friends. Our human love is limited and quite spoiled. But when we enjoy the Lord and are filled with Him as the real love, we will love everyone. When we all love one another as the Lord loved us, the church will no longer be a police station to arrest people but a hospital to lovingly care for people and heal them.

When we love others with Christ as love the church is not a law court to judge others but a home to raise up the believers in love. When we love others as the Lord loved us, the church will not be a law court, a prison, or a police station but a school where those who don’t have much understanding are taught in love. We need to be one with the Lord to raise up the saints in love, heal others in love, recover others in love, and teach others in love so that the church would be a home, a hospital, and a school, not a police station or a law court.

I hope that there will be a genuine revival among us by our receiving this burden of shepherding. If all the churches receive this teaching to participate in Christ’s wonderful shepherding, there will be a big revival in the recovery. Witness LeeMay the Lord save us from judging or criticizing others for their weaknesses; may we be those who cooperate with the Lord by enjoying Him and loving Him and allowing Him to fill us with His love until we no longer condemn others but become weak to those who are weak so that we may gain them for Christ. If we really love the Lord and are filled with Him as love we will not consider that others are weak and we are not but we will cover others, feel with them, care for them, cherish them, and nourish them for their growth in life for the building up of the Body of Christ.

When the Lord has a way to recover the mutual shepherding in love among all the saints in all the local churches, there will be a genuine revival among us as we all participate in the Lord’s wonderful shepherding. The Lord will bring in a new revival, a genuine revival that will end this age, as we receive the burden of shepherding and enter into the Lord’s ministry to shepherd others according to God.

Lord Jesus, we love You. Fill us with Yourself as love so that we may love others as You love them. Lord, may we realize that love is the most excellent way for us to do anything and be anything for the building up of the Body of Christ. Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us and for shepherding us in love. Keep us enjoying You, loving You, and being filled with You as love so that we may love everyone and care for them in love. Lord, recover the mutual shepherding among all the saints in the local churches so that a new revival would be brought in!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Dick Taylor’s sharing in the message for this week, and The Vital Groups, pp. 75-76 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 5 / msg 5, Shepherding according to God (1) Shepherding People by Cherishing and Nourishing Them according to the Pattern of the Lord Jesus and of the Apostle Paul.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # Lord, I do love You, operate in me, / Be my salvation, save me constantly / To hold forth Your word, life to others afford; / Shining You, so radiantly, dear Lord. / Lord, I’m so saturated with Your joy / That I am drunken, You as wine enjoy; / I’d pour out my being, as a drink offering / Upon You, God satisfying. (Song on being a drink offering)
    # O brother, won’t you gather in the local church? / A fountain here is flowing deep and wide. / The Shepherd now would bring you to the local church, / Where thirsty spirits can be satisfied. (Hymns #1234)
    # I live, if you stand firm in the Lord. / You live, if I stand firm in the Lord. / My going on is for you, / Your going on is for me, / Not sep’rate entities, / I need you saints desp’rately! (Song on Shepherding the saints)

Shepherding the Saints according to God by Following the Pattern of the Apostle Paul

2 Cor. 11:28-29 Apart from the things which have not been mentioned, there is this: the crowd of cares pressing upon me daily, the anxious concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is stumbled, and I myself do not burn?The Lord Jesus as the great, chief, and Good Shepherd is now the pneumatic Shepherd in our spirit as the life-giving Spirit, and He is both shepherding us and shepherding others through us. When we read the Gospels we see how the Lord was with those around Him, and when we read church history and listen to testimonies of fellow believers we can see how the Lord shepherds man again and again to bring him into His house, the church, to be part of His corporate expression.

We need to follow the steps of the Triune God to shepherd others, we need to follow the pattern of the Lord Jesus as our Good Shepherd to take care of people, and we also need to follow the proper patterns of people in God’s economy who shepherd people according to God for the building up of the Body of Christ.

One of the greatest patterns of shepherding in the New Testament is the apostle Paul; he cooperated with the Lord’s shepherding to the uttermost to not just preach the gospel but shepherd people according to God for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.

We need to shepherd people according to the pattern of the apostle Paul as a good shepherd, taking care of the flock of God among which God has placed us all (1 Tim. 1:16; Acts 20:28).

Initially Paul was not a good pattern: he hated the believers in Christ and persecuted them, but he got dynamically saved by Jesus Christ, and the pattern of the Shepherding Jesus was infused into Paul to constitute him as a pattern.

Paul didn’t merely preach the gospel, teach the truth, establish churches, go on missionary trips, or write letters to the churches, but his being, his words, and his living was a shepherding to the saints and the sinners wherever he went, so that others were gained for Christ not only by his preaching but also by his shepherding. We need to take a look at some of the ways Paul shepherded the saints, and we need to follow his pattern to be a good shepherd, taking care of God’s flock.

Shepherding the Saints as a Nursing Mother and an Exhorting Father

1 Thes. 2:7-8 But we were gentle in your midst, as a nursing mother would cherish her own children. Yearning in this way over you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own souls, because you became beloved to us.In 1 Thes. 2 we see that Paul did not only tell the believers in Thessalonica to love the Lord, live a proper Christian life, and enjoy the Lord, but he reminded them of his pattern, how he was among them. He was outrageously treated in Philippi, but he still came to those in Thessalonica to preach the gospel to them, and together with his co-workers he was gentle in their midst, as a nursing mother would cherish her own children.

Paul didn’t just preach the gospel to the people: he yearned over them and was pleased to impart to them not only the gospel of God but also their own souls, since he loved them so much. He was like a nursing mother, gently and tenderly caring for the new-born babies, and he was also like a father who exhorts and consoles and testifies to his children, so that they might walk in a manner worthy of God.

In cherishing the believers as their own children, the apostle considered himself a nursing mother, and in exhorting them to nourish them with God’s word, he was like an exhorting father.

This is how we should also shepherd others. We shouldn’t try to convict people of their sin or criticize them but love them, cherish them as a nursing mother full of tender care, and exhort them not as a teacher but as a father loving and caring for his children.

In all this, Paul had an intimate concern for the believers (see 2 Cor. 7:2; Philem. 7, 12), and the saints even became his heart – he was so one with the Lord that the Lord’s heart became his heart, and the saints were constantly in his heart.

Lord Jesus, may we be like Paul, as a nursing mother and an exhorting father to the believers. Lord, we want to cooperate with You as the inward good Shepherd to love You and love the saints, tenderly care for the saints, and lovingly exhort them. Make our heart a duplication of Your heart so that the saints would be on our heart and we would love them and care for them as You do and as Paul did!

Shepherding the Saints by Teaching them Publicly and From House to House, Even with Tears

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God...Paul shepherded the saints in Ephesus by teaching them publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20), and by admonishing each one with tears even for as long as three years (Acts 20:31, 19), declaring to them all the counsel of God (v. 27).

He didn’t just teach them publicly, declaring the counsel of God and speaking of the economy of God, but he also visited them one by one in their homes to exhort them and advise them with tears. He slaved the Lord as a slave with all humility and tears, not ceasing to admonish the saints where he was.

The way to shepherd others is not merely by ministering Christ to them through our speaking in the meetings but also all the more by visiting them in their homes to exhort them, encourage them, shepherd them, and even shed tears for them and with them.

We need to be one with the inward pneumatic Shepherd to visit the saints in their homes and admonish them with tears related to Christ and His enlargement so that we may dispense Christ into them for the building up of the church.

We shouldn’t “manufacture tears” but be desperately one with the compassionate, loving, and caring Shepherd in our spirit to love the saints, care for them, and admonish them with tears. What a pattern Paul was to us in caring for the saints!

May we follow his pattern in shepherding the saints according to God by declaring all God’s economy with tears as we admonish the saints both publicly and from house to house.

Lord Jesus, we want to be desperately one with You as the inward organic Shepherd to care for the saints, love them, and admonish them by declaring to them all the counsel of God publicly and from house to house even with tears. Lord, make our heart a duplication of Your loving and caring heart so that we may diligently and lovingly care for the saints in their homes for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ!

Writing Living Letters of Christ with the Life-giving Spirit as the Essence on the Saints’ Hearts

2 Cor. 3:2-3 You are our letter, inscribed in our hearts, known and read by all men, since you are being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God...In 2 Cor. 3:2-3 Paul declared that the Corinthians are his letter, inscribed in his heart, known and read by all men, since they were manifested to be a letter of Christ ministered by him, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of hearts of flesh.

Paul didn’t only preach the gospel and minister Christ to the saints, but he wrote Christ into the saints with the Spirit of the living God as the ink, and as he wrote Christ into them, they were also written in his heart.

Because the believers are a letter of Christ, they are also a letter inscribed on the hearts of the apostles; today, while we are ministering Christ to others, Christ is simultaneously written in them and also in us. This means that we can NEVER forget those to whom we have ministered Christ, since they are written on our heart and we are written on their heart; the one writing produces two original copies and involves two hearts becoming one!

We shepherd others by ministering Christ to them to write Christ into their hearts, and as we do this, they also get inscribed into our heat. As we minister Christ to one another, we become one with Christ and one with the saints for the testimony of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, fill us with the Spirit of the living God as the ink so that we may inscribe Christ into others to be letters of Christ. Lord, we want to cooperate with You to minister Christ to others so that Christ may be inscribed into them and they also may be inscribed on our heart. Oh, may the church life be filled with the ministering of Christ for the mutual inscribing of Christ into one another for us to be letters of Christ for His testimony!

Coming Down to the Weak Ones’ Level to Gain them for Christ

To the weak I became weak that I might gain the weak. To all men I have become all things that I might by all means save some. 1 Cor. 9:22The way Paul preached the gospel and brought God’s kingdom into cities and countries all over Asia and Europe was by coming down to the weak ones’ level, becoming weak to the weak so that he might gain him for Christ (1 Cor. 9:22). He even said, Who is not weak and I am not weak? Who is stumbled, and I myself did not burn? (2 Cor. 11:29)

He visited people, shepherded them, and cared for them by becoming weak as they are so that they might be gained for Christ. He burned in sorrow and indignation over the cause of the stumbling of the fallen ones, and he ministered Christ to them in a way they could receive, enjoy, and digest.

The Lord Jesus said that He came as God’s servant and He wouldn’t break a bruised reed or put out a smoking flax….and Paul became a duplication of Christ – he became weak to the weak so that they might be gained for Christ (1 Cor. 9:22 cf. Matt. 12:20). What a pattern our dear brother Paul was to all of us!

May we not consider ourselves as being NOT weak while everyone else IS weak, but may we humble ourselves and contact people in the humility of Christ, burning for them, being weak to the weak, and ministering Christ to them for the building up of the church.

This is how Christ was and this is how Paul lived; we need to be filled with the pneumatic Good Shepherd as the life-giving Spirit to have the right attitude toward people so that they may be gained for Christ.

Lord Jesus, save us from considering ourselves as being strong and not weak, while others are so weak….may we be one with You as the Servant of God and follow the pattern of Paul to be weak to the weak that we may gain the weak for Christ. Lord Jesus, may we be those who shepherd people according to God by coming down to the weak ones’ level that we may gain them for Christ, so that the church may be built up as Your corporate expression.

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Dick Taylor’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of 2 Corinthians, msg. 6 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 5 / msg 5, Shepherding according to God (1) Shepherding People by Cherishing and Nourishing Them according to the Pattern of the Lord Jesus and of the Apostle Paul.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
    # To the lost world minister Christ, / The very Christ you enjoy, / Imparting Christ to all your friends / As all their boast and their joy. (Song on Ministering Christ)
    # Foll’wing Thee, Good Shepherd, I would feed, / Shepherd those allotted me, / E’er I’d touch Thy heart’s desire, / Live in Thine economy. / O my Lord, All thanks to Thee! / Goodness, mercy follow me; / I’d ever dwell within Thy house, / As Thy Body glorious! (Hymns #922)
    # I’m a sinner without one plea, / But the Lamb of God in me; / I was lost and without hope / But my Savior came and sought me out. / ’Tis my story and my song; / To the world I say so long; / I now walk and live in light / With the New Jerusalem in sight. (Song on Preaching the Gospel)