The book of Acts speaks of the propagation of the resurrected Christ in His ascension, by the Spirit, through the disciples, for the producing of the churches – the kingdom of God, which are the Body of Christ, the corporate vessel of God on earth.
The book of Acts is unique in that it is not finished yet; there’s no ending to the book of Acts but rather, today we are in the continuation of the book of Acts. The book of Acts is still being continued today for the increase, multiplication, and propagation of Christ.
The Father is working, the Son is working, and we also need to be one with Him in His work today by being in the divine stream, the stream of God’s work which flows from the throne and brings life wherever it goes.
The Lord today is looking for vessels that are open to Him to be filled with Him and allow Him to work in them and through them to propagate Christ for the increase of Christ in humanity.
The book of Acts doesn’t speak merely of the acts of the apostles; it speaks of the acts and works of the Spirit through the disciples for the propagation and increase of Christ.
Hallelujah, today God is still flowing and working in man and with man, and we need to be in this divine stream so that we may enjoy the fellowship of the Body, become the testimony of Jesus, and do the work of God.
The Holy Spirit is working today in preaching Christ for His propagation through the believers of Christ; His work is not yet completed, and it needs to be continued for a long period of time.
As we live in the continuation of the book of Acts, we need to cooperate with the Lord for Christ’s increase and multiplication, which is the carrying out of God’s New Testament economy for the producing of many sons of God so that they may be the members of the Body of Christ for the carrying out of God’s eternal plan.
Hallelujah, our God is working, Christ is working, and we are also working for the increase of Christ in man so that God’s kingdom may be brought in.
Taking Christ as Life and Living the Body Life for God to Gain a Shining Testimony
Our God is after a corporate, shining vessel, which is the church as the Body of Christ; we as His children must therefore be brought to the awareness of the Body of Christ and learn to live the Body life, otherwise we are not useful in His hand and can never fulfill His goal (Rom. 12:1-3; 1 Cor. 12:12; Rev. 1:10-12).
In the Gospels we see a full picture of the Head, Christ, and in the Acts we see the acts and deeds of the Body of Christ; in the book of Acts we don’t see only the acts of the apostles but the acts of Christ by the Spirit in the church.
Christ as the Spirit is acting in his reproduction and duplication, which is the church, the Body of Christ; Acts is a living record of the acting God in and through His people to propagate, duplicate, and reproduce Christ.
Today we are in the continuation of Acts, and we need to be the vessels that God is looking for to use in this time; He used Martin Luther, John Wesley, and many others throughout history in their time, and we need to be those who can say, Here I am, Lord, send me today – just as the Father and the Son are working, so I am also working!
God desires to gain a corporate shining vessel, the church as the Body of Christ; this vessel is the increase of Christ for His multiplication and reproduction, and we need to know the Body and live the Body life so that we may be useful in God’s hand for the fulfillment of His purpose.
God wants golden lampstands: He desires to gain a shining testimony of God in humanity, those who are willing to be constituted with Christ, filled with God’s golden element, and built up with others into the Body of Christ for God to shine through them corporately.
In Acts God gained such a corporate vessels; what we see in this book is not a record of believers who acted, did, walked, or did things according to regulations, rules, organization, man’s order, doctrines, knowledge, tradition, or anything old; rather, in Acts we see the disciples of Christ who did everything according to the present guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Today we as the disciples of Christ need to reject ourselves, deny ourselves, and repudiate ourselves, and we need to depend on the Lord for our living, doing, walking, working, and everything. We need to take care only of one thing: taking Christ as our life and living by Him, thus rejecting ourselves continually and living by this Living One – and not by any regulation, tradition, or teaching but by the inner anointing.
In Acts we see a group of people who are resurrected and ascended with Christ and who live by Christ as their life; they have Christ as their way and power, living by Christ and spreading Christ by the power of the Spirit and under the guidance of the Spirit.
We need to realize that we have been raised with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenlies; now we need to live not by ourselves but by Christ as life.
We need to reject our opinions, methods, power, ways, and life, and live by the Triune God who has come within us as our life and work by the Triune God who is upon us as our strength, way, and method. This is to live the life of the Body of Christ and live by Christ, thus being useful in God’s hand for the fulfillment of His goal.
Lord Jesus, save us from acting, speaking, walking, or doing things according to regulations, organization, doctrines, knowledge, tradition, or anything old. We want to learn to reject, repudiate, and deny ourselves and depend on You for our living, doing, walking, working, and everything. Lord, we take You as our life and we want to live by You. We want to live no longer by our natural life but by the divine life so that we may know the Body and live the Body life for the fulfillment of God’s goal.
The Testimony of the Overcomers is on Behalf of the Church, God’s Corporate Vessel
Some may ask, What does it mean that the overcomers come out of the church? It is true that there needs to be overcomers who come out of the church. But even the testimony of the overcomers is maintained on behalf of the corporate whole; it is not for individuals alone. The overcomers are not men who consider themselves extraordinary, better than others, and who put everyone else aside. The overcomers work on behalf of the whole church. They do the work, while the whole church gains the benefit. The overcomers are not for themselves; they stand on the ground of the church, and they are there to bring the whole church to perfection. They stand on the ground of the church and maintain their stand on behalf of the church. Even the victories of the overcomers are corporate victories. Watchman Nee
Our God is always advancing, and He is constantly seeking for a corporate vessel today who would cooperate with Him for the fulfillment of His purpose. He saved millions of believers to make them part of the church; the church is God’s corporate vessel that fulfills God’s plan.
However, the church as a whole has failed God; now there are some overcomers who hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 2-3) and fulfill God’s purpose on behalf of the church and for the church.
Even the testimony of the overcomers is maintained on behalf of the whole church; the overcomers do the work, and the whole church receives the benefit (Rev. 12:5-9; 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:3, 5, 12, 20-21). God needs the overcomers: those who are the stronger part of the woman (typifying the entirety of God’s people) to be the dispensational instrument in His hand to close this age.
We want to be those who have a dispensational value in God’s eyes, those who are one with Him to change this age and bring in the age of the kingdom. For this, we need to realize that we are a “woman”, that is, we trust in God, need to receive God’s element, and depend on God for everything, because only by this we can be strong in God.
To be the overcomers we need to be strengthened into our inner man with power through the Spirit so that Christ may make His home in our heart through faith (Eph. 3:16-17). We need to be empowered to experience the riches of Christ and be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints the universal dimensions of Christ with the unsearchable riches of Christ (v. 18).
Furthermore, to be an overcomer we need to be strong and stand in the Body to put on the whole armor of God by pray-reading the killing word of God (see Eph. 6:10-20).
May the Lord have mercy on us and produce us as His overcomers, those who are one with God to fulfill God’s purpose. The overcomers are not for themselves; they stand on the ground of the church, and they are there to bring the whole church to perfection; even the victories of the overcomers are not their own individual victories but are corporate victories, for the Body (see Phil. 1:19).
The overcoming of the overcomers is on behalf of the church, which is God’s corporate vessel to be His shining testimony on earth. To be such overcomers we need to learn to live the Body life by denying our natural life, being dealt with by God in a deep way, and by learning obedience and fellowship.
Lord Jesus, we want to be the overcomers that You need today so that we may fulfill Your purpose on behalf of the church, Your corporate expression. Lord, strengthen us with power into our inner man so that we may apprehend with all the saints Your vast dimensions and unsearchable riches. Amen! We trust in You, Lord, and we depend on You for our life and living. We want to learn to live the Body life by denying the natural life and being dealt with by You so that we may be part of Your chosen vessel who fulfills Your purpose!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ed Marks for this week, and portions from Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 37, pp. 123-124, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Increase of Christ for the Building up of the Church (2016 Memorial day Weekend Conference), week 1 / msg. 1, The Increase of Christ in the Continuation of the Book of Acts.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# The Church the vessel is to Christ, / Him to contain and Him express, / Just as the human body doth / Man’s life show forth, his life possess. (Hymns #821)
# Lord, Your purpose and Your heart’s desire / Is to build Your church, Your temple. / For this purpose You created man / As a vessel to contain You. / You were processed as the Spirit / Now You’re working in our being. / To Your image You’re conforming us. / Lord, Your work is glorious. (Song on God’s purpose)
# God needs the overcomers, / Our dear Lord Jesus lovers! / Make us those who live to turn the age! / God needs the overcomers, / Our dear Lord Jesus lovers! / Make us those who consummate the age! (Song on God needing Overcomers)
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