The matter of the church is not that simple – the church is the mystery of Christ, the Body of Christ in God’s eternal economy, and we should preach the gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God.
The universe with its vastness, the earth with all the things in it, the animals, the water creatures, the birds, the plants, and man with everything related to the human life – all of this is wonderful, visible, and tangible, but the Creator God surely has a purpose in His heart when He made all these.
God has a purpose that was hidden throughout the ages but was revealed to us in the New Testament age, which is to dispense Himself into us so that He may produce and gain the church, His corporate expression.
No one knew why did God create everything, and even today, very few people know what is the reason and purpose for their existence.
From the very beginning of the world until now the purpose of creation was a mystery hidden in God, but we have the privilege to see it, be enlightened, and help enlighten others to see the purpose of God.
Job in the Old Testament feared God and lived righteously, but he had to admit that there was something hidden in God’s heart, something He doesn’t tell him – there’s a purpose hidden in God.
Before the New Testament time God didn’t reveal to anyone what His purpose was; God’s hidden purpose, His mystery, was made known by revelation to the apostles and prophets, especially to the apostle Paul (see Eph. 3:3-5).
The mystery that throughout the ages was hidden in God’s heart is His eternal economy, His eternal intention with His heart’s desire to dispense Himself into His people to make them His corporate expression.
In His economy God desires to dispense Himself in His Divine Trinity – as the Father in the Son by the Spirit – into us, His chosen people, so that He may be our life and nature, and so that we may be the same as He is as His duplication.
The result of our receiving and enjoying the divine dispensing is that we become an organism – the Body of Christ as the one new man, for God’s fullness, God’s expression, which will become the New Jerusalem.
This intention of God was hidden in His heart, but today we can see it, we can pray it, and we can cooperate with the Lord to become part of its fulfillment in our lifetime!
The Economy of the Mystery of God is to have the Church for the Manifestation of God
God is a mystery; He is a God who hides Himself, and even though we can see His characteristics and features expressed in His actions and His creation, He is a mystery to us.
God is a real, living, and almighty Person, but He is invisible, and to us He is a mystery. No one has ever seen God (John 1:18) – He is a mystery. This mysterious God one day became a man, and when Jesus came He manifested God, for He was the embodiment of God.
The mysterious God became a man and was manifested in Jesus Christ; therefore, Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2). Christ was a very mysterious Person – He lived as a man, yet He expressed and manifested God.
After His death and resurrection, Christ became a life-giving Spirit and was reproduced and duplicated in the church, His Body; now the church is the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4). The church is not only the Body of Christ, but the church is the mystery of Christ.
Paul uses the expression “the mystery of Christ” to explain the church as the Body of Christ in God’s eternal economy. God is a mystery; Christ as the embodiment of God is a mystery; the church as the reproduction and expression of Christ is a mystery; and Christ and the church is the great mystery.
In eternity past God has made an economy, which is the economy of the mystery hidden in God; this economy is to produce the church for the showing forth of God’s multifarious wisdom. This is truly amazing.
We as believers in Christ are men, yet we are very mysterious, for we are regenerated of God (who is a mystery), we have Christ living in us (and He is a mystery), and we are part of the church (which is the mystery of Christ).
The key to understanding what is happening is the economy of God, His plan; this economy is the economy of the mystery, which is for God to have the church for His manifestation.
We did not realize this at the time of our regeneration, but as soon as we became believers by receiving the Lord into our heart as our life, we became part of the organism of Christ, the Body of Christ, which is the church of God as the new man in God’s creation!
We are not only men but also God – we are divinely human and humanly divine, men born of God and mingled with God, and now we are part of the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose, His “career”, to build up the Body of Christ for the fullness and expression of the Triune God.
In this age the corporate expression of Christ is the church, and for eternity the organism of the Triune God will consummate in the New Jerusalem. Hallelujah!
Lord, we praise You for the economy of the mystery of God, which is for God to have the church for His manifestation. Thank You Lord for regenerating us and coming into us to be the meaning of our human life. Thank You for bringing us into the church life so that we may become part of the fulfillment of Your purpose. Build us up together in spirit, Lord, that we may be the church You are after, the Body of Christ, the corporate expression of God. Lord, unveil us further to see the economy of the mystery of God, which is to have the church for the manifestation of God!
Preaching the Gospel concerning the Economy of the Mystery Hidden in God – the Church
In Eph. 3:8-9 Paul testified that he preached the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel, and then he said that he did this to enlighten all that they may see the economy of the mystery hidden in God.
This means that Paul didn’t just preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ; he also preached the gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God, which is the church.
The economy of the mystery hidden in God is part of the gospel. Our gospel should contain the riches of Christ and the enlightening of others that they may see the economy of the mystery hidden in God.
On the one hand we are presenting the unsearchable riches of Christ for Him to have the church, His corporate expression, and on the other hand we tell others concerning God’s economy, His desire to dispense Himself into man so that he may be deified and become part of God’s corporate expression.
We all are vessels to contain God and become part of God’s corporate expression forever and ever, and the meaning of our human life is to participate in this personally and corporately!
How much we need to have a heart for others so that God may shine into them and enlighten them as we present the gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God!
The gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God is to produce the church for God’s expression and glorification according to God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 3:10-11, 21).
Many preach the gospel, but what is their goal in preaching the gospel? Is their goal mainly to save people and bring them into heaven? Oh, there has to be something burning in our being as we are announcing the gospel, that we would enlighten others to see the economy of the mystery hidden in God, and they would be part of the church as God’s corporate expression!
A person needs to be saved, redeemed, regenerated, baptized, enter into the church life and be part of God’s corporate expression!
What God desires is to gain a group of people who contain Him and who are members of the Body of Christ, so that Christ may be their life, their Head, and their manifestation, and that they and He could be one universal new man to express Christ as the embodied God to fulfill God’s eternal purpose!
The highest gospel is the gospel of Christ with the church; we must value, appreciate, and treasure the church, and we must preach the highest gospel, the gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God – the church!
God loves the church and the church is lovable to Him because it is the very expression and glorification of God. When God has the church, He is expressed, and He is glorified!
May we be those who participate in the Lord’s recovery of the church both by being in the church life and by enlightening all that they may see the economy of the mystery.
Today, may we be those who announce the gospel concerning the mystery hidden in God in order to enlighten all that they may see what is the economy of the mystery hidden in God, who created all things for the fulfillment of His will, the desire of His heart, and His eternal purpose.
Lord, we give ourselves to You to preach the highest gospel, the gospel concerning the economy of the mystery hidden in God – the church! May we be those who announce the gospel concerning the mystery hidden in God in order to enlighten all so that they may see what the economy of the mystery hidden in God, who created all things for the fulfillment of His will! Our desire is to be one with You, Lord, to enlighten others that they may see Christ and the church, and they may become part of Your corporate expression on earth!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, The God-ordained Way to Practice the New Testament Economy, ch. 26 (by Witness Lee) as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Church (2017 fall ITERO), week 1, Seeing God’s Eternal Purpose concerning the Church and Enlightening All concerning the Economy of the Mystery Hidden in God.
Hymns on this topic:
# Christ is the mystery of God; / God is invisible, unshown, / His image man hath never seen, / But Christ the Son hath made Him known… / The Church the myst’ry is of Christ, / For He is now to man unshown; / No man on earth may see Him now, / But thru the Church He is made known. (Hymns #818)
# No longer I alone that live, / But God together lives with me. / Built with the saints in the Triune God, / His universal house we’ll be, / And His organic Body we / For His expression corp’rately. (Song on God’s mystery)
# God of glory, we bow the knee, / Grant us today / Spir’t of wisdom, revelation, / The mystery to see, / I’d outpour all my life for Thine economy, / Just for Thine eternal pleasure, / The Body of Christ, / In my mingled spirit lead me / To the Body’s reality, / In Thine intensification / Make us the testimony of Jesus / O Lord! For this we yearn! (Song on becoming the testimony of Jesus)
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