The church is the mingling of God and man; the church is nothing else but God mingled with man, and the nature of the church is the mingling of God with man.
According to our natural and fallen concept, when we think of the church we merely consider that we are sinners saved by God, and so the church is the ekklesia, the gathering of the ones saved and called out by God.
But there’s something in the Bible concerning the church that is far beyond this. The Bible clearly tells us that God wants to work Himself into man and mingle Himself with man. This is beyond our human concept, and it is far above man being a sinner and being redeemed.
Actually, even if man didn’t sin but was pure, God still wanted to mingle Himself with man – this is the reason God came to man in the form of the tree of life, for man to take God in and enjoy Him.
God’s everlasting purpose is to work Himself into man and mingle Himself with man so that He may gain a corporate expression in man.
Through regeneration we are brought into the mingling of God with man; first He mingles Himself with our spirit, then He spreads into our mind, emotion, and will, to mingle Himself with every part our inner being. The result and issue of the mingling of God with man is the house of God, the church, God’s habitation.
If God is not mingled with man, He doesn’t have a home. God doesn’t dwell in a physical house or building; He dwells in humanity, and His dwelling place is built up by the mingling of God with man.
Before the incarnation of God to be a man called Jesus Christ, God didn’t have a habitation; but when Jesus came, He was the reality of the tabernacle and the temple in the Old Testament, for He was the mingling of God with man.
Now God has a home in man, in the mingling of God with man. The church as the Body of Christ is the expansion, the enlargement, and the spread of Christ as the God-man, and all believers in Christ are men mingled with God to be the house of God, the habitation of God.
The nature of the church is the mingling of God and man; the church is not merely of man, composed of men, and the church is not merely God, just God Himself – the church is both divine and human, human and divine, for the church is the mingling of God with man.
A Deep and Central Truth in the Bible: the Church is the Mingling of God and Man
The mingling of God and man is a deep and central truth in the Scriptures; what God desires is not merely a group of people with whom He can fellowship and who obey Him – He wants a people with whom He can be mingled.
Today we as believers in Christ are one spirit with the Lord, for His Spirit and our spirit are mingled as one spirit, the mingled spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).
The Lord Jesus prayed for such a oneness, a mingling, in which we are in Him, He’s in us, and we are in the Father; this is the house of God, God and Christ coming to visit us and dwell in us and with us (John 14:20; 17:21-23).
The church is the mingling of God and man; God in Christ makes His home in our heart, and together we are rooted and grounded in Him, and we express Him corporately as the fulness of God (Eph. 3:16-21).
We must grasp the principle of the church – the church is God mingled with man.
The church is neither merely divine nor merely human – if the church were merely divine or merely human, it would lose its nature. We shouldn’t make the church “more human” or “more divine”; rather, we should seek to be mingled with God, and the mingling of God and man will manifest the nature of the church.
God’s unique purpose is nothing else but to mingle Himself with us so that He becomes our life, our nature, and our content, and we become His corporate expression.
The church is a group of people who are mingled with God; they may be strong and active int heir mind, emotion, and will, but God is mingled with them, and they are mingled with God.
We see an example of this on the day of Pentecost: even though the Lord’s disciples were not very strong, capable, or learned, they were mingled with God and God was mingled with them, and Peter’s speaking had a great impact.
If there’s a group of people who are open to the Lord to be mingled with Him, and they allow God to work Himself into them and work on them, then that is the church.
How can we have the reality of the church in our locality? It is not only by meeting together and calling ourselves “the church” but by allowing God to work Himself into us and to mingle Himself with us.
We need to have this resolution of receiving, considering, concentrating on, desiring, and turning our whole being toward the mingling of God and man within us.
Then, we will not merely understand doctrinally what the church is but there will be a genuine building work, a genuine mingling of God with man to be the church.
How much we are built into the church and as the church depends on how much we are mingled with God, for the church is the mingling of God with man.
The extent to which we see the Body and live in the reality of the Body is determined to the degree to which God is mingled with us and we are mingled with God.
When we are mingled with God and God is mingled with us continually, we cannot be individualistic but corporate, we see the Body, and we cannot act independently but spontaneously live in the reality of the Body.
When the mingling of God with man and man with God is built up within us in a considerable way, many problems in the church will spontaneously disappear.
Praise the Lord, the church is the mingling of God and man! Amen! Lord, we give ourselves to You and we turn our whole being toward the mingling of God with man within us. Keep us in the mingling of God and man. Lord, work Yourself into us more today and mingle Yourself with us for the producing and building up of the church as the Body of Christ. Cause us to be the church in reality, the mingling of God with man. Lord, mingle Yourself with us to be our life, nature, and content, so that we may be Your corporate expression!
The Body of Christ is the Enlargement of Christ, who is the Mingling of God and Man
What does it mean that God is mingled with man? The mingling of God and man is an intrinsic union of the elements of divinity and humanity to form one organic entity; in this union, the elements remain distinct – there will never be a third nature or person produced.
For example, oil is mingled with flour to produce a dough; in this mingling you can see both the flour and the oil, but they have been mingled together.
The will of God is the mingling of God with man, and the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose depends on this mingling (Eph. 1:5, 9; 3:11). God desires to mingle Himself with us, and His purpose is accomplished by His mingling with us.
First, Christ came as the mingling of God with man; 4000 years after creation, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, and He was the mingling of God and man – He had both the divine nature and the human nature. He was “Emmanuel”, God with man; He was both God and man – God yet man, man yet God.
From this time onward there was a different kind of man in the universe: a God-man, a man who is the mingling of God and man.
A most wonderful event transpired then: the uncreated One was mingled with the created one, the intangible with the tangible, the eternal with the temporal, and the infinite with the finite. Hallelujah!
Through His death and resurrection, Christ has been enlarged and expanded to include His believers into the Body of Christ, the corporate mingling of God with man.
Now the church is the enlargement of Christ, the God-man, the One who is God mingled with man. This is the nature of the church, and this should be the normal condition of a church.
When people look at the church they should be able to see God and man – not merely God and not merely man, but God mingled with man, God expressed in man, and man expressing God.
In the Gospels the mingling of God and man produced the Head of the Body, Christ; in Acts we see the enlargement of the mingling of God and man, producing the Body of Christ (see Eph. 1:22-23; 4:15-16).
In Eph. 4:4-6 there are four persons – the Body of Christ, the Spirit, the Lord, and God the Father – who are actively mingled together. The Father is embodied in the Son, the Son is realized as the Spirit, and the Spirit today is mingled with us, the believers in Christ. This mingling of God and man is the constitution of the Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is God mingled with man; the processed and consummated Triune God mingles Himself with His chosen people in their humanity, and this mingling is the genuine oneness of the Body of Christ (see Eph. 4:3; John 17:21-23).
May we realize that the church as the Body of Christ is the enlargement of Christ, the One who is the mingling of God and man!
Thank You Lord for showing us that the Body of Christ is the enlargement of Christ, who is the mingling of God and man. Amen, Lord, may Your will be done in our life: may there be more active mingling of God with man going on in us and in all the saints today. We give You permission, Lord, to mingle Yourself with us and to work Yourself into our being more today. We want to live our daily life with all its activities in an active mingling of God with man, so that we may be part of God’s corporate expression, the church!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Andrew Yu for this week, and portions from, The Church as the Body of Christ, chs. 3, 5, 14 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Knowing Life and the Church, msg. 4 (week 4), The Nature of the Church.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Only Christ, our Person, must remain; / From our aims, our goals we must refrain, / Till the church be only Christ Himself / Built up as the one new man, / Thus fulfilling God’s great plan of— / Mingling fully with the human race / To obtain a proper dwelling place, / ’Stablishing His kingdom’s rule and grace; / Over all the earth. (Hymns #1180)
# In our daily life and all we are and do and think and say, / How we need a deeper mingling just to gain the Lord each day; / Lord, we give ourselves completely just to take the mingled way. / Yes, mingling is the way. (Hymns #1199, stanza 5)
# God would have a group of people / Built together in His plan, / Blended, knit, coordinated / As His vessel—one new man. / God would come into this vessel / With His nature, life and ways, / Mingling Spirit with our spirits / For His joy and to His praise. (Hymns #1325)
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