Ezekiel 1, the deepest chapter in the whole Bible, unveils to us the desire of God’s heart and the purpose He wants to accomplish; in this chapter we see that God obtains a corporate expression of Himself in Christ and His Body, that is, the Man on the throne and the four living creatures on earth.
Our God has a heart’s desire: He has a good pleasure. We all know that we are called, redeemed, and saved according to God’s eternal purpose, but this eternal purpose is of His will, and God’s will is according to His good pleasure (Eph. 1:9).
God has a heart pleasure, which we may call the desire of His heart; He is a living God, a loving God, and purposeful God, and as such a One He has a heart’s desire, which is revealed in the Bible.
Every living thing – especially every living person – has a good pleasure, and the more living we are and the higher the level of life we have, the greater is the need for pleasure. God is the most living One, so He surely needs the most pleasure.
If we, as fallen sinners, require pleasure, how much more does God, the living One, has a deep need for it! The whole Bible speaks of God’s good pleasure, His heart’s desire, and especially in the book of Ephesians we see the good pleasure of His will.
In Ezekiel 1 we see – in many types and symbols – the desire of God’s heart and the purpose that He wants to accomplish.
From the very beginning of the Bible we see that God’s purpose in creating man was that man would express Him in His image and represent Him with His dominion over all the earth (Gen. 1:26).
Adam failed God, and the people of Israel also failed God, but in Ezekiel chapter 1 we see that God is expressed through the Man on the throne (Christ) and the four living creatures moving in coordination on earth (the Body of Christ).
Jesus is Lord; He is the Lord of the entire universe, and on earth there is a corporate expression of this God-man – He is gaining a beautifully coordinated group of believers who move in oneness with Him to carry out His move and express Him!
Hallelujah, God is gaining what He is after: He is gaining His image and dominion in and through Christ and the church! We need to have the experiences of Christ typified in Ezekiel 1 to be the four living creatures moving one with God to express God on earth and represent Him with His dominion as we are one with and under the throne.
Being full of Joy as God Operates in us for His Good Pleasure in His Economy
The Triune God has an economy which was made according to His good pleasure; His good pleasure comes out of His heart’s desire (Eph. 1:9-10; 3:9-11). God’s economy is for Him to dispense Himself into His chosen and redeemed people to make them His expression.
Our God is not a senseless dictator in the heavens somewhere; He is a living Person, full of feeling, with a heart’s desire – which the Bible calls, His good pleasure. Out of God’s heart’s desire is His good pleasure; based on this pleasure He made a purpose, and to accomplish His purpose He made an economy (1 Tim. 1:4).
The entire Bible is the contents of God’s economy. We believers should not be senseless people but emotional people, people filled with joy and excitement for God’s purpose. What makes us happy is having God working within us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
Our God is operating in our being and in our environment for His purpose; He wants to work Himself into us to make us His corporate expression.
We need to see God’s economy which is according to His good pleasure, and we will then be filled with joy, for it is not us who fulfills God’s economy in and of ourselves, but it is God who operates in us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure!
When we see that God operates in us for His good pleasure, we will be full of joy and happiness, and this joy is an indication that God is happy within us, and that we are walking and living according to His good pleasure.
In His economy God is dispensing all His riches, all that He is, has, and has obtained in Christ as the Spirit, into our being, to make us His house, His city, and His kingdom, for us to express Him corporately and represent Him with His authority.
May we be saved from merely thinking that God saved us for us to have peace and joy on earth, and later to go to heaven to be with Him – this is such a wrong and inadequate concept, very much short of what God wants to do!
Our God is operating in us for His good pleasure, and we are living and walking according to His good pleasure, the desire of His heart; this makes God happy and it makes us happy!
May we be those who care only for the desire of His heart, and may we give ourselves to the Lord to have the experiences we need so that we may live according to His heart’s desire, His good pleasure!
Lord Jesus, we are full of joy to know that God is operating in us both the willing and the working for His good pleasure in His economy. Thank You Lord for coming into us and for bringing us under the divine dispensing of the Divine Trinity. Hallelujah, today we can receive the divine dispensing and allow God to operate in us according to His good pleasure so that we may live and walk according to the desire of His heart. Amen, Lord, work in us and operate in us for Your good pleasure!
Ezekiel 1 unveils God’s Desire to be Expressed Corporately in Christ and His Body
Christ, the Son, of God, is the effulgence of God’s glory; when God is expressed, He is Christ; when God speaks, He speaks Christ (Heb. 1:1-3). Christ expresses God in full; He is the embodiment of God, and in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
This One, Christ, is the One who has redeemed us and who is everything to us; He is the reality of the electrum (the alloy of gold and silver in Ezek. 1, gold – God’s divine nature, silver – His redemption). Christ our God, our Lamb, our Redeemer, our divine nature, our everything; He dwells in us as the Lamb-God, the redeeming God, the One signified by the electrum.
Before we were saved, we were sinners, alienated from the life of God, base, and wicked; there was nothing beautiful, honorable, or glorious about us. But God came to us as the storm wind from the north – He came as the Holy Spirit upon us to cause us to have God’s life.
Then, He abode before us as the cloud – He stayed with us, covered us, and showed us favor, bringing us into some intimate transactions between us and Him.
Then, He started to purify us as the fire: He not only covered and overshadowed us, but He started to consume in us everything that doesn’t match His holy nature and disposition. This caused us to be purified and enlightened, and the result was a “glowing electrum” (Ezek. 1:4), the radiant expression of the redeeming God.
God’s coming to us as the storm wind, cloud, fire, and electrum, produced in us an incomparable treasure: Christ as the treasure in our vessel. Now we have Christ as the treasure in our earthen vessel, and the excellency of the power is of Him (2 Cor. 4:7).
The more we experience the wind, the cloud, and the fire, the more we gain of Christ as the treasure, and we become people filled with the Triune God to manifest His glory. This is what Ezekiel 1 shows us: God’s desire to be expressed in Christ (who is wrought into us shine out of us) and His coordinated Body.
The result of having such an experience is that we become living creatures – the complete and adequate experience of Christ, a coordinated corporate entity – the corporate Christ (1 Cor. 12:12).
Ezekiel 1 shows us that God is gaining a corporate entity – the corporate expression of God; when God gains such a corporate expression, His purpose will be accomplished (Eph. 3:10-11).
The four living creatures on earth are the corporate expression of the Man on the throne. This means that we need to be corporate – we need to refuse to be individualistic or isolated, but be in the Body and for the Body.
We need to be corporate, and we need to be in coordination; the Lord placed us together with some particular saints, and we need to learn to coordinate and fellowship with them as our fellow living creatures, so that we may be joined and knit together and become one entity, the corporate Christ.
Coordination is necessary for God’s expression; as living creatures we need to be joined together and knit together with all the saints to become one entity. By ourselves we can’t fully express Christ, and for us to be in the Lord’s move we need to be joined to others.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to us as the Spirit to cause us to have God’s life, and then overshadowing us as the cloud to have many transactions with You. Purify us, Lord, and remove anything that doesn’t match Your holy nature and disposition in our being, so that we may become the radiant expression of the redeeming God. Lord, we want to be built up and coordinated together with the saints in the Body so that together we may be the corporate Christ to express God in a corporate way as the four living creatures!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ron K. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 8 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Ezekiel (1), msg. 1 (week 1), Visions of God and the Unveiling of God’s Purpose and the Desire of His Heart.
- Hymns on this topic:
# What miracle! What mystery! / That God and man should blended be! / God became man to make man God, / Untraceable economy! / From His good pleasure, heart’s desire, / His highest goal attained will be. (Song on God’s economy)
# Earthen vessel I was made, / Christ in me the treasure laid; / His container I must be, / As the content He in me. / Transformation is my need, / To be broken more indeed, / That the clay may change in form, / To the treasure to conform. (Hymns #548)
# Once by nature we were dead in sin, / In a world of utter discord; / But together God has quickened us, / Raised us up to sit together with the Lord. / Jesus is getting us together, / Come and see the saints in one accord. / His love is knitting us together, / To the stature of the fullness of the Lord. (Hymns #1232)