Ezra was a priestly scribe who reconstituted the people of Israel by educating them with the heavenly truths, so that Israel could become God’s testimony. Today we need to be reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths in God’s word so that we may be the church as the testimony of God.
Ezra was a very particular person – he was not merely a scribe, one who knows the word of God, and he was not just a priest, one who contacts the Lord; he was a priestly scribe, one who is saturated with God and filled with God, and who at the same time is skilful in God’s word.
He didn’t merely teach the word of God but, after spending much time with God to be filled and infused with God, he ministered God to His people by speaking and reading the law, so that they would be reconstituted by being educated by the truth in God’s word.
We need to be such ones in the church life today. We need to be those who trust in God, who are one with God, and who are skilful in God’s word.
We need to know God’s heart, God’s desire, and God’s economy, and we need to be filled with God as we speak the word of God, so that others would have the Triune God being dispensed into them as we speak to them.
We need to be the priestly teachers today in the recovery of the church life, those who are saturated with God and filled with His word, those who contact the Lord continually and allow the word of God to dwell in them richly, so that we would know how to speak the word and apply it according to the need of the church and in line with God’s economy.
This means that we need to daily spend time with the Lord in a personal way, and we also need to set aside time to be in His word to read it, pray over it, read the Recovery Version with the footnotes, and enter into the ministry of the age which opens up the Bible.
We need to pay the price of our time to get into the word of God in a solid way, so that we may be inwardly reconstituted by being educated in God’s word.
Our constitution is still so worldly and so full of the Babylonian element, so we need to be reconstituted by God in His word, and we need to cooperate with Him to be those who speak God’s word to God’s people to bring them into the process of being reconstituted.
God doesn’t want to merely gain an outward group of people who have His life, but He wants to reconstitute His people so that they would be His expression and testimony from within, constitutionally.
When we read the Bible and exercise our spirit to receive God’s element contained in it, we are inwardly being reconstituted, and our culture is changed from having a worldly and Babylonian culture to having a culture that is according to God, a God-man culture.
And in our living we will express God by being reconstituted with God, and we will become His testimony.
Ezra Reconstituted the People of Israel by Educating them with God’s Word so that Israel could become God’s Testimony
Most of those who had returned to Jerusalem from the captivity in Babylon at the time of Ezra had not been born in Israel but in Babylon; they were born in captivity and raised in Babylon.
Their constitution was Babylonian, and their living was according to the Babylonian culture. The Babylonian element was wrought into them and constituted into their being.
However, the Lord stirred their spirit up, and they went up to Jerusalem, brought up the vessels of God’s house, and built up the temple of God and later the city of God. However, merely by returning to the proper ground of Jerusalem did not change their inward constitution.
Merely by building the temple of God, an outward structure, the people of Israel were not inwardly reconstituted.
After they returned to the land of their fathers to be the citizens of the nations of Israel, there was the need for reconstitution through education. This is why God prepared and raised up Ezra, a priestly scribe, one who was both a priest contacting God to be filled with God, and a scribe who knew the word of God.
Ezra gathered the people of God, proclaimed a fast, confessed his sin and the sin of the people, repented, and read the law of God to the people of God.
God’s intention with His people, after they returned from captivity, was not merely that He would gain an outward temple with a city, where He can dwell; He wants to have on earth a divinely constituted people who are His testimony. Therefore, His people need to be reconstituted essentially, in their being, and this is through the word of God.
[After the return from captivity], the people were still unruly for they had become Babylonian in their constitution. Therefore, there was the need for an Ezra, a priest who served God, and also a scribe, a scholar, who was skilled in the Word of God, skilled in the law of Moses (Ezra 7:6, 11). He bore the totality of the heavenly and divine constitution and culture. Ezra called the people together and confessed not only his own sin but also the sin of Israel, to bring them back to the Word of God. (Life-study of Ezra, p. 33, by Witness Lee)
God dwells in the heavens, and the earth are the footstool for His feet, but He delights to dwell in man, in those who are poor and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at the Lord’s word (Isa. 66:1-2).
He is not interested merely in an outward structure, a building, or even in a group of people who calls themselves the church or the people of God; God wants to build Himself into our being so that we may become His house, His building.
This is similar to David’s situation in 2 Sam. 7, where he wanted to build God a house, and God told him that He will build David a house, and out of David someone will come to build God’s house.
In the church life we are not here to build a system, an organization, or something outward; we are here to let God build Himself into us and make His home in us, and this is by being reconstituted with God through education in His word.
This is what Ezra did – he educated God’s people with His word, and this reconstituted them inwardly that they would be God’s testimony.
Lord Jesus, show us our need to be reconstituted in our being through being educated in Your word so that we may become Your testimony. We open to You, Lord, and we give You the ground in our being that You may make Your home in us and You may build Yourself into our being. May You be pleased to dwell in us and make Your home in us. We want to be in Your word, be filled with Your word, and allow Your word to dwell in us, so that we may be inwardly reconstituted with You to be Your testimony, Your expression!
Being Reconstituted by being Educated with the Heavenly Truths to be God’s Testimony
In the recovery of the church today we need to be reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths in the word of God so that we may be God’s testimony.
Merely returning to the genuine ground of oneness and regularly meeting with the saints doesn’t mean that we are God’s testimony; we need to be inwardly reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths – we need to be divinely constituted to be God’s testimony on earth.
The Babylonian element is still in our being; there is so much of the element of confusion, division, mixture, and separation, together with compromise and being halfway – all these are in our being. Therefore, we need to be reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths in the word of God, so that we may become the testimony of God.
There is the need for education, for even our culture is not according to God but according to our background and our disposition. There is the need of teaching and reconstitution so that we may be brought into a culture that is according to God, a culture that expresses God (see Neh. 8:28).
In the Old Testament Ezra was very useful to God for he bore the totality of the heavenly and divine constitution and culture, and he was one through whom the people could be reconstituted with God’s word (Neh. 8:1-2).
Today we need to be reconstituted by being educated with the divine truths in God’s word, and we need to know how to constitute the saints under our care by helping them read the word diligently and be constituted with the truths in the Lord’s recovery.
In order to recover the church in a proper way, we need to take care of the way of education and reconstitution; first we need to be reconstituted by being educated in God’s word, and then we need to help others do this also.
We need to read the Bible every day, reading the footnotes in the Recovery Version and using the life-studies and references to dig deeper into God’s word and have God’s word be open to us. Day by day we need to read the word of God and the ministry, so that we may be constituted.
We need to be educated with the word that comes out of the mouth of God and that expresses God (see Psa. 119:2, 9, 105, 130, 140). For us to be reconstituted, we need to be put into the word of God so that we may be saturated with God’s word.
When the word of God works within us, the Spirit of God – who is God Himself – through the word spontaneously dispenses God’s nature with God’s element into our being, and in this way we are being reconstituted (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
There is no quick fix, no short cut, and no easy way – we need to daily spend time in God’s word to be reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths in God’s word. And then we need to encourage others also to spend time in God’s word to be reconstituted.
As a result of being reconstituted, we become a particular nation, a peculiar people – a nation sanctified and separated unto God, a nation expressing God (see Isa. 49:6; 60:1-3; Zech. 4:2).
When we give ourselves to be reconstituted by being educated with the divine truths in God’s word, we are transfused with the thought of God, with the considerations of God, and with all that God is, to be God’s reproduction, His corporate expression.
As the Lord is working Himself into us and reconstituting us inwardly, we become the same as Christ in life and nature – we become a divine nation expressing the divine character (see 1 Pet. 2:9).
Lord Jesus, we give ourselves to be reconstituted by being educated with the heavenly truths in Your word so that we may be Your testimony. May we be those who spend much time in your word every day so that we may let the word dwell in us richly in all wisdom. May the word that comes out of the mouth of God become our daily food and our inward constitution. Strengthen us, Lord, to pay the price of our time to daily read the word, the footnotes, and the ministry, so that we may be inwardly reconstituted with God and become His corporate expression, His testimony!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by James Lee for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Nehemiah, msgs. 2-4 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Church (2017 fall ITERO), week 4, The Recovery of the Church as God’s House and God’s City as Portrayed in Ezra and Nehemiah.
- Hymns on this topic:
# In Thee I may with God have fellowship, / And thru the Scripture I on Thee may feed; / Thru study of the Word with prayer to God / Thy glorious riches fully meet my need. (Hymns #810)
# Transformed by beholding from glory to glory, / And from strength to strength on to Zion we go. / Constitute us with truth as daily we study— / Here a little there a little—Your Word to know. (Song on being constituted with the word)
# Let the word of Christ dwell in you / Richly, in all wisdom / Teaching and admonishing one another / In psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, / Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord / And whatever you do, in word or in work / Do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, / Do all in the name of our Lord. (Scripture song)
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