Author by : Various Authors
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Publisher by : Living Stream Ministry
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Description : This issue of The Ministry of the Word contains the nine messages given during the international training for elders and responsible ones held in Leipzig, Germany, from October 5-7, 2017. The general subject of this series of messages is "The Recovery of the Church." The intrinsic significance of the church is the corporate expression of Christ, who is the embodiment and expression of the Triune God. The reality of the church as the expression of Christ is heavenly, "Christly," and "resurrectionly." In time and space, however, the church can deviate and become degraded, deformed, and corrupted due to the enemy's work of producing substitutes for Christ, dividing the Body of Christ, and killing the function of the members of the Body of Christ. From the beginning, God's intention was to have the church, and this was taught by the apostles (Eph. 3:10-11). Although much of the truth concerning the church has been lost or distorted, our God is a God of recovery regardless of what the enemy has done. The Lord's recovery of the church brings us back to the beginning for the fulfillment of God's eternal purpose and original intention regarding the church. For the recovery of the church, we need to overcome the degradation of the church that was brought in according to the principle of Babylon--exercising human ability and effort, hypocrisy, self-glorification, and harlotry. The way to overcome the principle of Babylon is to take Christ as our burnt offering so that He can repeat the life of the burnt offering within us. By this way we can be "Christified" and become His duplication for the building up of the Body of Christ to consummate the holy city, New Jerusalem. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the return of the Israelites from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city. This return signifies the Lord's recovery of a remnant out of today's division and confusion back to the original ground of oneness for the building up of the genuine church as the house of God and the kingdom of God. To strengthen and enrich the recovery of the church, the Lord needs priestly scribes like Ezra--those who contact God, are saturated with God, and are skillful in the Word of God to reeducate and reconstitute God's people for His testimony and His corporate expression on the earth. The Lord also needs those who are pure and properly aggressive like Nehemiah to build the great and high wall of the holy city for our separation unto God, the protection of God's interests, and the expression of God. Practically speaking, in the Lord's recovery today, we are mainly recovering the proper church life and the proper living of the church. The church life is the corporate living of the perfected God-men, a living in the reality of the Body of Christ. The church life is the life of Christ being lived out through His members in a corporate way. It is our being headed up under the unique headship of Christ and enjoying the mutual flowing of fellowship in oneness as the continuation of Christ's being glorified by the Father so that we may be the corporate expression of Christ. In order for the Lord to return, He must recover the life and living of the church. The church has two main aspects--universal and local. The church is constituted of the universal God, but it exists on earth in many localities; in nature the church is universal in God, but in practice the church is local, in a definite place. Without the universal aspect, the church is void of content; without the local aspect, it is impossible for the church to have any expression and practice. The genuine oneness is the Triune God who as the Spirit today is being added to us and is permeating us, taking us over, and filling us. Only the Triune God is the factor of the genuine oneness. The ground of oneness is simply the processed Triune God applied to our being. In Psalm 133 the fine oil, referring to the holy anointing oil in Exodus 30:23-33, signifies the all-inclusive compound Spirit. This anointing Spirit is the element of our oneness; when the compound Spirit applies Himself to us and spreads over and in our entire being in a gradual way, He makes us genuinely one. If we want to have the recovery of the church, we must have a clear revelation concerning the three most basic, essential, and crucial statuses of the church--as the Body of Christ, as the new man, and as the counterpart of Christ. The Body is the issue of the headship of Christ. Christ, as the One who fills all in all, needs His Body to be His fullness, the expression of the Head (cf. Eph. 1:22-23). For the building up of the Body of Christ, we need to practice the scriptural way to meet and to serve--the God-ordained way revealed in the holy Word. The new man is Christ in all the saints. This indwelling Christ permeates and replaces us to remove all natural distinctions and to constitute everyone with Himself. In order for us to experience the reality of Christ being all the members of the new man, we need to take Christ as our life and our person and live Him, not ourselves. The one new man fulfills God's eternal purpose of expressing God and dealing with His enemy. The church as the Body of Christ and the one new man will become the bride, the counterpart, of Christ. The Lord will return for His bride. The church, the counterpart of Christ, as typified by Eve, is a pure product out of Christ, built out of the uncreated life released by Christ through His death and resurrection. Only those who are regenerated of Christ and who live by Christ as the church can match Christ and complement Him. In the New Jerusalem the processed and consummated redeeming Triune God as the universal Husband will live a married life for eternity with this redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified corporate person as His wife. This will be the consummation of the universal divine romance. The Announcements section of this issue contains a list of upcoming conferences and trainings hosted by Living Stream Ministry and a website link for information related to similar events in Europe.