A Rare View of Eternity Past


The book of Ephesians in the Bible is a deep book. If we read it too quickly, it is easy to miss God’s thought. We start to explore God’s full salvation in this deep book. The apostle Paul wrote Ephesians with a rare view of eternity past. God showed Paul something that was in God’s own heart, something that was there in eternity past, even before creation.

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Our aim here, is to see what was in God’s heart. May God give us the spiritual eyes to see such a thing! Then we want to see His eternal purpose which is precisely according to what is in His heart. Finally, God’s heart and His purpose result in His economy, which is His way to fulfill His purpose and the desire of His heart. 

God’s plan in eternity past

What is in God’s heart is God’s good pleasure. God’s good pleasure is revealed in multiple verses.

Ephesians 1:5 says: Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. 

Verse 9 says: Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself, 

As you can see, verse 9 also shows us how God’s purpose is His will that is according to His good pleasure.

God’s good pleasure and HIs purpose result in God’s economy. Verse 10 says: Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him. 

Because both verses 5 and 9 above state that God’s will (or purpose) is according to His good pleasure, then we can say that what God plans to do is out from His heart’s desire. The illustration below may help.Christians-on-campus-Gods-plan-Good-Pleasure-Purpose-Economy-Animated

Chapter 3 of Ephesians further reveals God’s economy. Take a moment to read verses 9 through 11.

9 And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things, 10 In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church, 11 According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s good pleasure

God’s good pleasure is a very significant term in the book of Ephesians. It refers to God’s desire, which is the delight of God’s heart. Our good pleasure is what makes us happy. We are all seeking a certain kind of pleasure. The pleasure we seek comes from the desire of our heart, deep within us. It is good to stop and consider these things. 

  • Consider what pleasure you seek.
  • What do you plan to do to carry out the desires of your heart?

God also has His pleasure. There is something within God’s heart that pleases Him and makes Him happy. It is because there is something in God’s heart that He plans what He plans and does what He does.

Ephesians chapter one, thus speaks about what is in God’s heart. In this chapter, we see that the issue of what started in God’s heart is the church. Go back, and read, and see if you can find the church in Ephesians chapter one. The church is the desire of God’s heart, His good pleasure. The church is not a physical building in your neighborhood; it is something spiritual and something out from the heart of God. May we all have such a deep and even eternal view of the church.

If you would like, you can read all of Ephesians chapter 1: here

God’s eternal purpose

How can we know God’s eternal purpose? It is revealed in the Bible. Ephesians 1:11 says: 

In whom (Christ) also we were designated as an inheritance, having been predestinated according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will. 

God’s purpose is God’s will, God’s goal. This purpose is according to God’s good pleasure and comes out from His good pleasure. If we want to know God’s purpose, we must go back to the beginning of the Bible and find God’s purpose.  Genesis 1:26 says: 

And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. 

At the beginning of the Bible is God’s creation. The ultimate step of His creation is His creation of man. His creation of man was special. In it we find God’s eternal purpose. 

God’s eternal purpose is to have a group of people, a corporate man, created in His image and likeness. God desires this man to be filled with Him as life in order to express Him and have His dominion to represent Him. 

  • Can you point out image and dominion in Genesis 1:26?
  • How can we say that God desires a corporate man?
  • How would you describe God’s purpose using Genesis 1:26?

When we speak of God’s purpose, we specifically say that it is eternal. Eternal means without beginning and without ending. God had this purpose before time began and it will never change. This is why Ephesians 3:11 says:

According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

God’s economy

God’s economy describes all the steps God takes to carry out His purpose. In brief, God’s economy is His dispensing Himself into man to produce the church as His corporate expression. God is like a rich father who distributes the riches to His whole household. God’s riches are just Christ Himself and His household is us, the church! Thus, His economy is His household administration through which He dispenses Himself as the divine life to us. The excerpt below talks of God’s economy, Christ, and the Church. 

God’s economy is Christ with the church. As we consider God’s economy as revealed in the book of Ephesians, we need to pray that the Lord will give us an open heaven with a clear sky. If we would know God’s economy, not only must we have the knowledge of the book of Ephesians; we must also touch the reality contained in this book. We are not for mere knowledge—we are for reality. The reality in the book of Ephesians is God’s economy concerning Christ with the church.

In relation to God’s purpose, the word economy is unfamiliar to many Christians. The Greek word for economy, oikonomia, is used three times in Ephesians. In 1:10 Paul speaks of a dispensation, or economy, of the fullness of the times, in which all things will be headed up in Christ. In 3:2 he speaks of the stewardship of the grace of God, and in 3:9, of the dispensation of the mystery. The English word economy is an anglicized form of oikonomia, which means administration, stewardship, arrangement, or dispensation. In particular, in this sense economy denotes dispensing. God’s economy is to dispense Himself into His chosen people. Apart from Himself, God has nothing to dispense into His chosen ones. Hence, His economy is to dispense Himself into us. This is altogether related to Christ with the church. (Life Study of Ephesians, chapter 75)

Christ not only came into us to be our life when we became a Christian, but He is ready to dispense Himself into us all the time.  May we all open wide and turn to this wonderful One. He is rich and sweet.

Through the course of this Bible study on God’s full salvation, we will see how we are saved from our sins, how we escape judgment, how we are filled with joy, life and peace, and how we become truly spiritual people.  We hope that by our having taken this scenic view of eternity past, we also see that God’s full salvation takes care of God’s need. Thus, as we progress through our Christian life, receiving His dispensing, God’s heart’s desire is fulfilled more and more.

The Tripartite Man and the Exercise of our Spirit

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Luke 1:46-47 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has exulted in God my Savior.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, / Searching all the innermost parts of the inner being.

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. 40 Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The quotation below comes from the book, God’s Plan of Redemption, by Mary E. McDonough

The terms “inner man” and “outer man,” or their equivalents, are employed in modern psychology, but the psychology of the Bible is more analytical inasmuch as it indicates a subdivision of the invisible part of man, thus teaching us that man is not dichotomous but is a trichotomous being. We find this plainly taught in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and indicated in Hebrews 4:12 and Luke 1:46-47.

This tripartite being may be illustrated by a third piece of cardboard containing three circles. Within the inner circle print the word “spirit.” Within the second circle (surrounding the first) place the word “soul,” and within the outer circle the word “body.” (See Figure)

With the spirit we know God and our relation to Him and our relation morally to every created object. With our soul powers—the intellect, sensibilities (affections, emotions) and will—we are able to deal with the intuitions of the spirit, the claims of these various soul faculties and the record of the bodily senses.

“The spirit of man,” not the soul, is said to be “the candle of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27). Caution the class in reference to a careless use of these terms. Do not say “soul” when “spirit” is meant and vice versa. Avoid the phrase “body, soul and spirit,” as it inverts the Divine order of arrangement. In a normal condition the powers of the spirit control the powers of soul and body.

(God’s Plan of Redemption, by Mary E. McDonough, http://marymcdonough.ccws.org/redemption/index.html)

The Recovery Version of the Bible renders 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 with the word “soulish” and we find it most appropriate, especially in its context. “But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually. But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)

Instead of soulish, many translations of the Bible use “natural”. In any case, The footnote on “soulish” in the Recovery version goes right along with sister McDonough’s admonition that we distinguish between the spirit of man and the soul of man: “A soulish man is a natural man, one who allows his soul (including the mind, the emotion and the will) to dominate his entire being and who lives by his soul, ignoring his spirit, not using his spirit, and even behaving as if he did not have a spirit (Jude 19).”

We need to pursue Christ with an exercised spirit. Calling on the name of the Lord, crying to Him from our deepest part, “Oh, Lord Jesus”, is one way to exercise our spirit. We can also exercise our spirit by praising the Lord. Praising Him with “Praise the Lord!” and “Hallelujah” is to worship the Lord with our spirit. 

If we read the Bible merely with our mind we will be like those who search the scriptures yet are not willing to come to Christ. To exercise the spirit means to contact the Lord Himself. When we come to verses in the Bible we should read and pray, pray and read, always contacting God as we read the scriptures. This is to exercise the spirit. This is why pray-reading is recommended. We don’t advocate pray-reading as a form, but we exhort the believers to continuously contact the Lord in their reading. 

If man does not exercise his spirit, no matter how noble his deeds, no matter how deep his thoughts, no matter how scriptural his words, the transmission of God to that man will be absent. Let us make a strong resolution to be the spiritual men, ones who receive the things of the Spirit of God and discern all things. In our personal time with the Lord and in our corporate pursuit with others, let us come in this way, with an exercised spirit.


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The Human Spirit

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him,

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in spirit,

Ephesians 6:18 By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints,

Romans 1:9a For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.

2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

God created us with a human spirit for good reason. The human spirit matches God’s Spirit so that God can dispense Himself into us. We know from John 4:24 that God is Spirit, and by all the verses above (and so many more) we also see that we have a human spirit. By it we contact God and receive Him! John 3:6 shows us that the part in our being where we were born again was our human spirit.

A hymn titled “There’s a Life That’s Deeper than our Mind” talks about touching our human spirit. In this hymn there is also a call to the Christ who is in our spirit to come make home in our heart– that is, to spread out from our human spirit to our whole being. (You can see the lyrics to the whole hymn here: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/ns/217 ).

When we touch our spirit—such a thrill!
This is far beyond emotion, mind, and will—
It’s within our hidden part—
Come, make home in all our heart;
Let Your presence flow as rivers deep within.

All the genuine spiritual experiences in our Christian life are experiences in our human spirit.

We may have previously thought that we were only made of an inner part and an outer part, but the Bible reveals a third part, the human spirit. How wonderful it is to discover our human spirit!

We invite you to read this excerpt on the human spirit. It is only a small portion from a series of lessons designed to impart the truth of the Bible to young people.


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A Life Which Produces Glory and Praise to God

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things.

Philippians 4:13 I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in the heavens.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

How great is God’s heart? How deep? How high are His thoughts? The God who sent us His only Begotten Son to die for us, this One who washed us with His blood and who gave us the life-giving Spirit to be our life, this awesome God has awesome plans for us.

By our receiving and enjoying His life, we become people who shine out God. Thus, our Christian life is full of hope and full of meaning. Rather than waiting to go to heaven someday, we are actively pursuing Christ with others, we are endeavoring to enjoy God at every turn, and God’s glory is gradually filling our life. This happens to the extent that others see something awesome; they see God living again through us.

We want to get soaked with the Triune God– soaked, meaning, saturated with Him. The joy of God fills us to the point that our smile causes people to turn to God. Our walk causes people to desire to walk with God. Our message of the love of God becomes a living message that touches people. We become ones who exude God. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ”. To be filled with Christ day by day and to walk in oneness with Him is to live Christ. 

Doing things for ourselves, to gain the praises of men, by appending titles to our names, or by securing our name on a plaque on the wall, or even by performing to gain a great applause, these things do not actually glorify God. We might have said that we did them for the glory of God, but what was gained was praise for ourselves.

A characteristic of a life that lives out Christ is that it produces praise in people. This praise is not gained for the one that lives out Christ, but for God Himself. People see you, hear you and observe you, and what wells up in their being is, “Praise God!” and “Thank You God!” May such a living be our daily goal. What we need for this, is to go to the Lord, full of repentance, full of thanks, full of love toward Him, and full of a deep desire to be filled with Him.

This post was inspired by the verses in Philippians and by an excerpt from the book, “The Experience and Growth in Life”. We recommend to you the reading of that excerpt, linked here.


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Praise For Our Resurrection with Him

Ephesians 2:1 And you, though dead in your offenses and sins,

Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) 6 And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,

Philippians 3:10 To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

God is almighty and powerful, the creator of heaven and earth. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:2 goes on to report what Satan did to God’s creation, “But the earth became waste and emptiness.” In verse 3 God then said, “Let there be light.” Genesis proceeds to show us God’s wonderful restoring work. 

For centuries, worshippers have been praising God for all His works.  God has many works. His creation is a work; His feeding the birds and clothing the lilies of the field is a work; His sustaining all of us is a work; His taking what Satan corrupted and restoring it is a work. In the New Testament, we come to God’s highest and deepest works. His works in the New Testament are mysteries and are works accomplished in the spiritual realm. To gain our highest praise, we must be people of faith, reading the Bible, praying, and exercising our spirit of faith, believing in all of God’s glorious accomplishments.

We will see how one of the psalmists praised Jehovah and then we will see a higher and deeper praise for God’s works in the New Testament. The Old Testament certainly has worthy praises such as those found in Psalm 33. Here is Psalm 33:1 and 33:6-7 and 33:9a:

Psalms 33:1 Rejoice in Jehovah, O righteous ones. / Praise is becoming to the upright.

Psalms 33:6-7 By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made, / And all their host, by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the water of the sea like a heap; / He puts the deep waters into storage places.

Psalms 33:9 For He spoke, and it was; / He commanded, and it stood.

In the New Testament, we can see all the mysterious, wonderful things God went on to accomplish in Christ. Here is a list of some of these things.

1) He came down to be a lowly man named Jesus, living the life of God in a man. 
2) He took away all the sins of mankind by putting them on Himself when He went to the cross. 
3) By His death on the cross, He terminated Satan, sin, and death.
4) He picked all of us up as well and took us to the cross. 

Then a most wonderful thing happened. This is one of God’s greatest works in the universe. God raised us up together with Christ! Ephesians 2:6 says that we were raised up together with Him! Although we even went to the cross with Christ, He didn’t leave us there, but brought us up together with Him! Where are we now? We can praise God that we are no longer dead in our sins! We can praise Him that we died with Him and were resurrected with Him! We are seated with Him in the heavenlies! Praise the Lord! We will praise God for eternity, for His marvelous works!

This short excerpt from the Life Study of Psalms helps to make these points clear.


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Praising the King in His Victory

Psalms 45:3-5 Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O mighty One, / In Your majesty and Your splendor. 4 And in Your splendor ride on victoriously / Because of truth and meekness and righteousness; / And let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds. 5 Your arrows are sharp: / The peoples fall under You; / The arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

We have to admit, when we are looking at the messy earth, it is indeed hard to praise the Lord. Things around us may not be going so well. There are stories on the news that trouble us. Therefore, we have to see that the way to become one who praises the Lord all the day long is to look at HIM!. We can always review the Lord’s deeds, not only the things He has done for us in our lifetime, but also what He has accomplished on His own for all of humanity. Nothing encourages us more than to read the Bible, especially the gospels, for there, Christ manifests his victory throughout all His life and ministry. Hymn 1174, What a Victory, what a Triumph, also expresses the victory of Christ! Hallelujah, Hallelujah! We will praise unceasingly!

What a victory! What a triumph!
God Himself became a man,
Clothed Himself in human nature
To fulfill His mighty plan.
He through death destroyed the devil;
Risen now, the Son of Man!

Jesus by His human virtues
Did the subtle one arrest;
He as man withstood the tempter,
Fully passed through every test.
Now in spirit I can take Him,
All His virtues to possess.

In the Spirit of this Jesus
Is His human life so fine.
Human virtues have been added
To the Spirit all divine.
What abundance in this Spirit,
Rich supply for all mankind!

How mysterious! Yet how real!
Such a man now lives in me.
Into all my heart He’s spreading—
He, my human life, to be.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I will praise unceasingly.

Oh, what wonder! Oh, how glorious!
God in flesh is manifest.
We the members of His Body
His humanity express.
For the building of God’s dwelling
We His human life possess.

This excerpt is a helpful word that explains how Psalm 45 is a poetic prophecy of the victory of Christ.


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Praise For His Incarnation

Psalms 113:6 Who humbles Himself to behold / The heavens and the earth

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God a treasure to be grasped, 7 But emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of men; 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and that the death of a cross.

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 And every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The quotation below, from the ministry of Witness Lee, briefly explains the parallel between Psalm 113 and Philippians chapter 2. 

Psalm 113 is the praise of God’s elect for God’s exaltation and humility in taking care of the lowly and needy ones. Verses 4 through 6 say, “Jehovah is high above all the nations, /And His glory is above the heavens./Who is like Jehovah our God,/Who has set His throne on high,/Who humbles Himself to behold/The heavens and the earth?” This is a praise both of God’s exaltation and His humility. His humility was manifested in His incarnation. If we compare these verses with Philippians 2:7-11, we will see that Christ humbled Himself and, due to His humility, He was exalted. (Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 39, by Witness Lee)

May we praise our Lord Jesus every day, realizing that He is God almighty, who humbled Himself and was exalted by God in the highest way!


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Praising, Victory, and Rejoicing

2 Corinthians 8:1 Furthermore we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,

2 Corinthians 8:2 That in much proving of affliction the abundance of their joy and the depth of their poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality;

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians and told them of the Macedonian believers. Those believers experienced the grace of God. The grace of God is the resurrected Christ coming to us as the Spirit to be enjoyed by us. The Macedonians overcame trial and difficulty by staying in the joy of the Lord. We should not minimize the joy of the Lord. In the joy of the Lord there is strength.

These believers enjoyed the Lord to the extent that they sought to participate in taking care of needy saints. Even if they had little money, by enjoying the Lord, they were simple to desire the giving of whatever they had. Their outpouring was indeed sweet, but the source was the grace of God. The way to enjoy the Lord is to praise Him. We can say, “Hallelujah!”. The meaning of hallelujah is “Praise the Lord!”. Any time, no matter what you are doing, you can simply say, “O Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!”. By this, you will experience the sweetness of the Lord Jesus and, like the Macedonians, you will live a life that flows out of the grace of God.

The following fellowship talks about when we should praise the Lord. Read this and consider your own praising of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.


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Out of the Mouth of Babes and Sucklings

Psalms 8:1 O Jehovah our Lord, / How excellent is Your name / In all the earth, / You who have set Your glory over the heavens!

Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings / You have established strength / Because of Your adversaries, / To stop the enemy and the avenger.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

When we read these verses in the presence of the Lord we cannot let them go by without our exercising to open our mouth and praise His name. As we read, we can strongly declare, “How excellent is Your name! Oh Lord Jesus, Your Name!. Hallelujah for the name of our God! Jehovah our Lord!” The name of Jesus means Jehovah the Savior or Jehovah our Salvation. Thus, knowing this we can continue praising: “Hallelujah for Jesus! Jehovah our Savior! In all the earth, Your name is excellent!”

We recommend the following ministry reading. It opens the deep significance of Psalm 8!


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Praise and Gratitude to God for the Past

Psalms 66:1-5 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; / 2 Sing forth the glory of His name; / Make glorious His praise. / 3 Say to God, How awesome are Your deeds! / Because of the greatness of Your strength, Your enemies come cringing to You. / 4 All the earth will worship You / And sing psalms to You; / They will sing psalms to Your name. Selah / 5 Come and see the works of God; / He is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men.

Psalms 66:9 Who has kept our soul in life / And does not allow our feet to slip.

Psalms 66:13 I will come into Your house with burnt offerings; / I will pay my vows to You,

Psalms 66:20 Blessed be God, / Who has not turned my prayer away / Nor His lovingkindness from me.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The psalmist instructs us to shout, to sing, and to make glorious God’s praise. This part of this psalm is like something from a counselor to us. We are helped with what to say to God when we go to Him. We are told to tell God what we think of what He’s done, “How awesome are Your deeds!”. The psalmist then turns to God Himself and tells Him, “All the earth will worship You and sing psalms to You. They will sing psalms to Your name.” Interestingly, this psalmist then turns back to us and instructs us some more. It is as if he said to us, “go ahead, review some more all the wondrous things God has done for you.”

How wonderful that we can come to the Bible and be counseled. The writer, we can be sure, is one who goes in and out of prayers and instructions. What a model, what a pattern. What a joyful way that God has laid forth for us to know Him and be brought to worship Him.

Praising God for all that He has done is something for all Christians. New believers as well as mature ones can spend much time with the Lord. At first, we might say that we tried to spend some time with the Lord but that we quickly ran out of things to say. Now, we are seeing that all the things around us and that are related to us, all the things that God has arranged for us and provided us, all these are things we should praise God for. We can praise Him for giving us breath. We can be grateful to Him for keeping us all these years. 

Then the psalmist says, “I will come into Your house with burnt offerings;/I will repay my vows to You,/Which my lips uttered/And my mouth spoke when I was in distress./I will offer to You burnt offerings of fatlings /With the smoke of rams;/I will offer bullocks with goats” (vv. 13-15). These verses indicate that the psalmist is engaged in a business transaction. His offerings are his repayment to God for His goodness. First, the psalmist receives God’s goodness, and then he pays for it with his offerings. (Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)

For the new testament believers, one of our offerings to God is our opening our mouth to praise Him. Let us be like the psalmist in the Bible, worshipping God strongly! God is altogether worthy to be praised. Praise Him! Thank Him!

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One with God for the Mutual Abode

1 Corinthians 12:12 For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

John 14:1-3 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe into God, believe also into Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be.

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever, 17 Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.

John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Let us exercise our spirit as we seek the Lord’s life and the Lord’s light contained in these verses. 

Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for our sins. We recall from the book of Isaiah that Christ left this world, being, “cut off, out of the land of the living” (Isa. 53:8). He had repeatedly told His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem and be killed and on the third day rise from the dead. In John 14:2, in the Lord’s last great speaking to His disciples before His death, He again tells the disciples that He is going, only this time, He says that He is going to prepare a place for them. He also tells them that in His going He is also coming.

He tells them that He would send them another Comforter, the Spirit of reality. Jesus tells them that they already knew this Spirit of reality and that this One “abides with you and shall be in you”. This other Comforter then, is the very Jesus Christ Himself, who was at that time WITH the disciples. He was going to go to the cross, resurrect and be transfigured into a new form, that of the Spirit of reality, who would from that point forward be IN them. This is a great truth which we can also see in John 7:39 where it says, “But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. We can also see this wonderful transfiguration in 1 Corinthians 15:45 b, “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”

Many have interpreted John 14:3 to mean that the Lord would go to heaven to prepare a house for us there, that when we die, we might have a place to live. As we read the whole chapter of John 14 and even all the related scriptures, we begin to see clearly that the Lord was actually referring to His actions of going to the cross and coming in resurrection as the Spirit to live INSIDE OF US. In verse 20, right after He speaks of giving Himself to us as the Spirit of reality, He says, “ In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” THAT DAY undoubtedly is the day of the Lord’s resurrection. 

The result of Christ’s going to the cross to die for us, of such a marvelous going, was not only that He paid the price for our sins. He also came back right away as the Spirit to live in us! He told us that on THAT DAY He would be in us and we would be in Him. This is our oneness with God! He is in us and we are in Him! Where are we? We are now in Christ, and where is Christ? He is now in us! The place that was prepared for us was He Himself as our abode. 

Furthermore, this place is Christ Himself in the Father! Christ went to the Father and prepared a place for us there. That is the place where He has His being, in the Father and one with the Father. Mind-blowing, yes, but according to John 14, this is the place prepared for us! 

We can now read verse 23 and see how we also are the abode for God. “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.” Who gets a dwelling place, then? Is it us, or is it God? The wonderful place prepared for us by Christ’s going and coming is in the Father and is in us too!. It is the mutual dwelling place of the redeeming God and the redeemed man! This place is in God and in us, it is the Spirit of God coming to be in us, in our regenerated human spirit. It is a spiritual place that is not in the future, but it is here, and now.  Praise the Lord for such a place! 

The verses in John 14 are wonderful! You can build upon your understanding of these verses by reading the following ministry excerpt.

Download the MP3 of this post or play it below. 

The Mystery of Godliness: He who was Manifested in the Flesh

1 Timothy 3:15-16 But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth. 16 And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh, / Justified in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Preached among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up in glory.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The apostle Paul spoke of the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh. Surely he was referring to the incarnation of Christ Jesus and to all the steps of His living, death, and resurrection. The footnotes in the Recovery Version of the Bible help us to understand godliness. Concerning these verses, it says “godliness here refers not only to piety but also to the living of God in the church, that is, to God as life lived out in the church.”

In 1 Timothy 3:16 we see that there is a particular sequence and that this sequence says something more concerning godliness:

    1. He who was manifested in the flesh
    2. Justified in the Spirit
    3. Seen by angels
    4. Preached among the nations
    5. Believed on in the world
    6. Taken up in glory.

The sequence of steps number 5 and 6 are very interesting. “Believed on in the world” comes before being “Taken up in glory”. Wouldn’t we say that Christ was taken up in glory before He was believed on in the world? Actually, because “Taken up in glory” is at the end, after “Believed on in the world”, we can see that being “Taken up in glory” also refers to the believers, and more precisely, to the church. The church taken up in glory is what will happen at the end of the church age, at the Lord’s return. Ephesians 5:27 says, “That He might present the church to Himself glorious” Again, the footnote in the Recovery Version makes the point clear:

According to the sequence of historical events, Christ’s ascension preceded His being preached among the nations. However, it is listed here as the last step in Christ’s being the manifestation of God in the flesh. This must indicate that the church too is taken up in glory. Hence it implies that not only Christ Himself as the Head but also the church as the Body are the manifestation of God in the flesh.”

We can see that there is a dual significance. The mystery of godliness, the manifestation of God in the flesh, started with the individual God-man Jesus Christ, but upon His resurrection and His coming to live in His believers, this mystery, this manifestation, now continues with the church. The church is the manifestation of God in the flesh!  At the time Jesus walked on the earth, if you wanted to know God, you had to go to Jesus. Today, if a person wants to know God, he must go to the church.

The following ministry sample has great examples of how we are now the members of the church and the manifestation of God in the flesh.

Download the MP3 of this post or play it below. 

The Recovery of the Church as the Family of God

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone;

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Stanza 3 of hymn 1238 (in video above) says:

How delightful ’tis to know;
How subjective, real, and sweet
Is this inward joy of grace
We experience when we meet;
Life abundant Jesus gives
As my full reality;
Praise You, Lord, it’s really true,
I’m in Your own family.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

As Christians, we have to advance to see and experience the church as the family of God. John 1:13 says something absolutely precious about Christians, “…begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”. We can see in the previous verse, John 1:12, that by believing in Christ, we receive Him as our life. This means that God is now our Father. He is not only our Father because He created us and because we are one of His many creatures, but He is now our Father in the most real way– because we have received His life!

We should also see that all the believers are our brothers and sisters. Having the same life of God makes all the Christians a new creation. We know this from 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” With our family in the flesh we share the same human life. With our family in Christ we share God’s life and are a new creation. What we have in common with all the genuine Christians is the most precious thing in the universe! We hope that all of the regenerated children of God have an epiphany, an illuminating discovery and realization concerning the church as the family of God. 

Beginning also with the Brethren, the saints began to see that the church is God’s household, God’s family. This is clearly revealed in Ephesians 2:19 which says, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.” The very God is our Father and we all are His children. Being His children, we are the folks of God’s family. The Greek word for household refers both to the house, the dwelling place, and to the household, the family. You can translate the same word with these two meanings. The end of Ephesians 2 reveals the household as the habitation of God. Verse 19 mentions the household, while verse 22 says that we are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. The household is the dwelling place, the habitation.

Today, physically speaking, the household can never be the dwelling place of a father. However, spiritually speaking, all of God’s children at the same time are both God’s family and also God’s dwelling place. God’s habitation is built with His children. Therefore, His children are both His family and His dwelling place. The family is the dwelling place. We can declare to the whole universe that we are both God’s family and God’s house. We are His children, and at the same time we are His dwelling place. The Brethren, in their teachings, have made this very clear. From the assembly, the gathering of God’s called ones, they went on to the family of God, the household, and to the habitation of God. (The One New Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)

If you have time, you can learn more about the recovery through John Nelson Darby and the Brethren at: http://www.johndarby.org/recovery/index.html


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The Church as the Body of Christ


Ephesians 1:22-23 And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

All the items of truth in the Bible are the riches of Christ to be our inheritance. As a Christian, we gradually advance in our vision and experience. We might go through the following steps of revelation:

  • Seeing the Christ, the Son of the living God
  • Seeing His all-inclusive death and appreciating and enjoying His eternal redemption
  • Seeing His resurrection from the dead with His becoming the life-giving Spirit to come live in us
  • Realizing our union with Him, both moment by moment and eternally
  • Arriving at seeing His forming of the church as His Body

This advancement, this recovery, is the Lord’s recovery of so many truths, not only in our knowledge but also in our experience.

When the church is revealed as the Body of Christ, it means that the church has the life of Christ. Any part that has your life flowing through it is a part of your body. Conversely, if you suffered the severance of one of your body parts, say, your little finger, then the cells of that little finger would quickly die and your little finger would cease from being a part of your body.

If a group of people have not believed in the Lord, if they have not received His divine life into their human spirit, then they are not the church. By definition, they cannot be a part of the Body of Christ. How did you become a member of the Body of Christ? You received the Lord Jesus Christ to be your life. Any form of human organization cannot produce the Body of Christ. Only the dispensing of Christ’s life produces the Body of Christ. This is why it is crucial for believers to focus on the divine life of God and seek to experience and enjoy this life.

In your personal time with the Lord, seek the experience of life. This is not just for beginning Christians but for all Christians. For, in partaking of the divine life, we are undeniably and in reality, the Body of Christ.

Enjoy reading the lyrics of this song based on a 2014 elders and responsible one’s training.

Jacob saw the vision of a dream in Bethel,
Moses saw the vision on a mountain, do tell,
David saw the vision of the holy temple,
Ezekiel saw the vision of the house.

 Then John…. saw the vision of the New Jerusalem,
Well, it’s God…. dispensed and God built into men,
We need a vision so we open to the Lord,
Seeking revelation in the Holy Word,
Turning to the spirit for the building of the church,
The church is the fullness of the One.
(Ephesians one: twenty three)

Zechariah’s vision was for God’s recovery,
Daniel had a vision of Christ in victory,
Paul and Peter’s vision of the building of the Body
Complete the revelation of the age.

You can learn how to sing this at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUIoneL4lkk

Download the MP3 of this post  or play it below. 

Seeing The Church

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Here is God’s story– how He loved us so much and how He journeyed from eternity into time and joined Himself to you and me. He was incarnated– becoming a man named Jesus. He did the unthinkable– He lived a sinless human life and died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice to solve all our problems. We can never thank Him enough! If that wasn’t all, He resurrected and came all the way into us to be our life forever! God presents this salvation to all humanity, offering it for free to all who believe and call on His name. This is truly wonderful!

The Bible presents this story to us and much, much more. We are beginning to see that God also has something in His heart for the church. For us to see the church takes God’s revelation. Look at this marvelous exchange between the Lord Jesus and Peter.

13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they said, Some, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But you, who do you say that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in the heavens. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, verses 13-18)

Just as it was with Peter, that the Father revealed the Son of God to him, and that Christ revealed the church to him, so we need Christ Himself to say to us, “I will build My church.” Even if we know the word, “church”, we still need God to shine on us. We want to really see the church that is revealed in the Bible. We want to see the church as Christ’s building and as Christ’s Body. 

Whenever we read the words in the Bible about the church, and especially when we pray over these words, these words become Christ’s speaking to us again today. Through the Bible, we can receive a personal speaking from the Lord about His church. We can go to Christ personally and we can even ask Him to reveal the church to us, to show us His church.

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