God’s pleasure, His desire, and His habitation is not only in Jerusalem but more specifically in Zion, the place of His habitation. Zion as the elevated and the beauty of Jerusalem typifies the overcomers in the church age, who are the God-men perfected and matured (see Rev. 14:1).
Today we need to aspire not only to be good Christians in the church life enjoying the Lord and the fellowship with the saints, but even more: to be the overcomers of today, those who respond to God’s need for overcomers!
We all need to pray,
Lord, I want to endeavor to be an overcomer for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem! Lord, as much as it depends on me, I want to give You my best cooperation to be produced as an overcomer as Zion in Jerusalem, for You to gain the New Jerusalem!
Becoming the Zion Within Jerusalem
Abraham, our father of faith, set up a pattern in Genesis 22 when he worshiped God on Mount Moriah. Today we all as Abraham’s seed need to be on the New Testament Mount Zion to worship God.
The city of Jerusalem typifies the church today in general as God’s kingdom and His dominion (Heb. 12:22), and Zion typifies the overcomers within the churches as the high peak, the highlight, and the beauty of the church.
Jerusalem without Zion is not beautiful – Zion is the beauty of the holy city (Psa. 48:2; 50:2), and the church without some overcoming ones is not pleasant and proper.
We need to see that today in the local churches we should be the overcomers, the believers who grow in life and are ripened and matured for God to enjoy as the firstfruits.
Yes, the church is the best place for us to grow in life and for God to have His dominion and expression, but within the church, we need to aspire to be those who ripen earlier, who are matured in life, who are produced as the overcomers for God’s satisfaction!
If we look at the history of Jerusalem, it was occupied by the enemies, it was taken captive, and it was lost; but Zion is always new, always God’s delight, and always has God’s presence and blessing.
Lord, gain the Zion in the churches today! Make us those who are overcoming for Your purpose. Lord, not only the local churches, and not only a little building up – gain Zion! Gain the overcomers! Lord, produce us as Your overcomers for Your satisfaction and delight!
Doing a Work in the Stage of Intensification
As seen in the Lord’s ministry, there are three stages of our work:
- Doing a Work in the Stage of Incarnation: producing redeemed people by preaching the gospel and bringing others to receive the Lord and be His people.
- Doing a Work in the Stage of Inclusion: producing churches and being in the local church for God to have an expression, enjoying Christ as the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit in the church life.
- Doing a Work in the Stage of Intensification: working together with the Lord to build up the Body of Christ consummating in the New Jerusalem.
The overcomers today do a work not only in incarnation (to bring people to salvation) and in inclusion (to produce the churches) but also in intensification (to build up the Body of Christ for the bringing in and consummation of the New Jerusalem).
How can we do a work in the stage of intensification? The situation in Christianity and in the church in general is one of degradation because most Christian workers take many things – even good and spiritual things – other than the New Jerusalem as their goal.
We need to be those who respond to the Lord’s call for overcomers (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21) and work together with Him to do a work in the stage of intensification for Him to build up His Body so that the New Jerusalem may be consummated!
How we need to be perfected in our function and matured in our growth in life so that we may be the overcomers in the church today! Let’s come forward to Mount Zion, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, to the overcoming Christ today that we may grow in life and be perfected (Heb. 12:2).
We don’t want to be “super-spiritual Christians” who are “above others”; rather, we want to be normal believers who grow in life in a normal way and accomplish the ministry of the church on behalf of the church and one with the Lord.
The overcomers in the church today as Zion are the New Jerusalem in miniature and as a foretaste – Zion is the New Jerusalem and when the New Jerusalem comes, Zion will disappear because the entire New Jerusalem will become Zion!
Eventually, all believers in Christ will be produced as the overcomers – whether in this life or in the millennium, the age of the kingdom – but today in the church life we need to go on until at least some of us, by God’s mercy, will reach Zion!
Lord, Zion! Lord, overcomers! Lord, make us Your overcomers! Cause us to see the degradation in the church today and choose to be Your overcomers. May we grow in life and be perfected to become the overcomers today for the building up of the Body of Christ! Lord, start with us. Deal with us. Transform us. Renew us. Gain us. Produce us. Gain the Zion in the churches! Make us Zion! Gain what You desire today!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from portions in, Life-study of Genesis (msg. 57), and, Life-Study of 1 & 2 Kings (page 57), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Unique Work in the Lord’s Recovery, week 9 (entitled, The Consummation of the Unique Work in the Lord’s Recovery—the New Jerusalem).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading: Incarnation, Inclusion, and Intensification (by Witness Lee);
- Hymns on this topic:
# For the Lord has chosen Zion, / He has desired her. / For the Lord has chosen Zion / For His habitation.
# From strength to strength they go, and all / Before the Lord in Zion meet; / Thus ever seeking Thine own self, / They need Thy care and grace replete.
# Blest constituents of Zion, / Washed in the Redeemer’s blood; / Jesus, whom their souls rely on, / Makes them kings and priests to God.
- Picture credit: Late summer field (via here).