It is amazing to see how the Bible reveals the universal history according to God’s economy; what we see in the Bible is not merely human history nor just the divine history, but the divine history within the human history.
On the one hand, we need to realize that our God is sovereign, and this will cause us to be at peace and have rest, because such a sovereign God has sovereignty over the entire universe to carry out His purpose.
Under God’s sovereignty we see that there are two histories in the universe: one is the human history and the other is the divine history.
We tend to pay attention mainly to the human history, for this is what we get taught in school and we see with our eyes; but many times we are like a frog in a well, having a very limited seeing.
May the Lord open our eyes that we may see the divine history within the human history so that we may realize that the Bible speaks of the universal history according to God’s economy!
In the Old Testament the prophet Jeremiah wrote an entire book of lamentations, in which he appealed to God according to the environment and condition he was in, calling out to God to save His people. However, when he had a change in position and angle from himself to God, he recognized God’s eternal being and His eternal and unchanging government.
We need to be those like Jeremiah, having a change in position: we need to turn to our spirit and touch the Lord, and we will see things from His perspective. Just like the Apostle John, we need to be in our spirit; when we are in spirit, there’s a throne set up in heaven, and the One sitting on the throne rules over the whole universe for the carrying out of His purpose.
When we see God ruling and reigning to fulfill His economy, we will praise God, and we will join ourselves to Him to be one with Him for the carrying out of His economy.
Everything that happens on earth – whether today, in the past, or in the future – is under the throne of God, and within the outward human history there is a divine history taking place.
God’s Move among Men is Wrapped up with the Course of Human History
In this universe there are two histories: the history of man (the human history) and the history of God (the divine history). The history of man is what we see, read about, and are taught about – it is like an outward shell; the divine history is hidden and can be seen only with spiritual eyes, being like the kernel within the shell.
The history of man is easily seen, but it is not so easy to see the divine history within the human history; we need to realize that the move of God among men is wrapped up with the course of human history.
In the Minor Prophets the human history is defined and signified by the four kind of locusts in Joel 1:4, and the divine history is with Christ and His mighty ones, the overcomers, in Joel 3:11.
In Joel 1 we see four kinds of locusts, which also correspond to the great human image in Daniel 2, showing the transfer of human kingdoms.
The cutting locusts (the head of gold of the great human image) signifies the Babylonian empire, the swarming locusts (the breast and arms of silver) signify Medo-Persia, the licking locusts (the abdomen and thighs of bronze) signify the Grecian empire, and the consuming locusts (the legs of iron and feet partly of iron and partly of clay) signify the Roman Empire.
These empires are part of human history, and the kingdom was transferred from one to the other; human history is a history of cutting, swarming, licking, and consuming locusts.
But in Joel 3 we see there’s the divine history: Christ with His mighty ones! Similarly, at the end of Daniel 2, there’s a stone cut without hands striking the great human image at the feet – Christ with His overcomers, the divine history within the human history.
We must have an intrinsic insight to see the kernel within the shell, that is, to see and know the divine history within the human history.
We need to realize that throughout the Bible, the divine history within the human history is revealed in considerable detail; on the one hand we see the outward human history (which can be wonderful or pitiful) and on the other, the divine history within the human history (see Eph. 3:9-10; 1:10; Acts 2:23; 2 Thes. 2:2-8; Dan. 2:35, 44; 7:22, 27; Rev. 11:15).
In the divine history God wants to mingle Himself with man so that He may gain a corporate expression among man; He chose a people – the people of Israel in the Old Testament and the church in the New Testament – to work with, and He is working Himself into man to gain His expression.
Many things happen in the outward human history, but we need to see how God’s move is wrapped up with the course of the human history, and we need to see the divine history within the human history.
Lord Jesus, grant us to see that God’s move among men is wrapped up with the course of human history. Save us from having a limited and narrow view of the human history, seeing only what can be seen outwardly. Lord, enlighten the eyes of our heart and grant us a clear view of the two histories in the universe: the history of man and the history of God. Grant us to see and live in the divine history within the human history. Amen, Lord, mingle Yourself more with us today so that You may gain Your corporate expression on earth!
Seeing the Divine History within the Human History with Christ and the Church
The divine history began with the eternal God and His economy; in His economy God wants to work Himself into man to be one with man, be man’s life, life supply, and everything, so that man would become His expression in the universe.
Then, the divine history continued with the Lord’s incarnation and human living. His becoming flesh through incarnation required a certain human environment and situation – this is the divine history within the human history.
The unlimited, almighty, eternal God was incarnated – He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a human virgin, then He was born of this virgin to be the God-man – the One who is both the complete God and the perfect man.
Jesus Christ lived fully in the divine history within the human history, and His incarnation, perfect human living, all-inclusive death, and life-imparting resurrection were part of the divine history within the human history.
He didn’t just live as a man – He lived in the divine history, being one with God, being mingled with God, and doing the will of God – in the human history. His death was not a normal human death: He died a vicarious death, an all-inclusive death which terminated the old creation and solved all the problems.
Then, His death ushered Him into resurrection, and in resurrection He was begotten to be the firstborn Son of God (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; 8:29), He became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), and He regenerated millions of believers for His Body (1 Pet. 1:3).
In Christ’s resurrection we all who believe into the Lord have entered into and were incorporated in the divine history within the human history. The church today is the enlargement and manifestation of Christ, and we as believers in Christ are born not only in the human history but also in the divine history.
The church is part of the divine history – the intrinsic history of the divine mystery within the outward human history.
The divine history – the history of God in man – was from Christ’s incarnation through His ascension to become the life-giving Spirit, and then continues with His indwelling us through God’s organic salvation to make us the bride of Christ (see John 1:14; 1 Cor. 15:45b; 6:17; Rom. 5:10; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7-9; 22:17a).
Today we as believers in Christ need to see and live in the divine history within the human history, Christ and the church, so that we may be produced to be Christ’s overcomers, part of His overcoming bride which returns with Him.
Eventually, Christ will return with His overcomers as His bride – the army of mighty ones in Joel 3:11 – and He will face Antichrist, the figure in the outward, human history.
Christ with His overcomers – the figure in the intrinsic, divine history – will meet Antichrist with his armies – the figure in the human history, and Christ with His overcomers will defeat Antichrist and cast him into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).
Following this, the thousand-year kingdom will come, and it will eventually consummate in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth.
The New Jerusalem will be the ultimate step of God’s history – which started with Christ, continued with the church as His enlargement, and consummates with the overcomers and the New Jerusalem.
Thank You Lord Jesus for coming to be incarnated, crucified, resurrected, and ascended, thus opening the way for us to also enter into the divine history within the human history. Thank You for Your miraculous incarnation, Your perfect human living, Your vicarious and all-inclusive death, and Your life-imparting resurrection. Thank You for begetting us as sons of God and members of the Body of Christ to be part of the divine history within the human history. Amen, Lord, may we see and live in the divine history within the human history today!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by the brothers for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Joel, msgs. 6-7 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Special Fellowship concerning the World Situation and the Lord’s Move, msg. 2 (week 2), God’s Sovereignty, the Divine History within the Human History, and the World Situation and God’s Move to Spread His Recovery.
- Hymns on this topic:
# God’s economy and His eternal plan, / His heart’s desire and intention is to be one with man. / Yet man has failed completely throughout all history. / But hallelujah! Praise the Lord! God’s life is now in me. (Song on God’s plan)
# In the time He designed / He was born of a virgin’s womb / To reveal what was sealed from eternity. / He was born in human history / To reveal its greatest mystery. / That the answer for the earth / Was that Christ so loved the church. (Song on the heart of God)
He would die to satisfy the heart of God.
# God’s economy is to have God and man / Incorporated as one—divine-human, / To build up His Body—an organism, / Which consummates the New Jerusalem. (Song on God’s purpose)