中文

B.M.

Blending Conference Malaysia

Message One
The Vine (1)
The Vision of the Vine

      The general subject of the conference is The Vine and The Lampstand. John spoke about the vine in the Gospel of John and the lampstand in Revelation. Both the vine and the lampstand are signs, symbols with spiritual significance which signify the Triune God. In both signs, the Triune God is one with the church. All of us are in a genuine local church, and the local church is an expression of the unique Body of Christ. We may not realize it too much but we are part of the vine, an organism, and also part of the lampstand. It is of God that we are in Christ Jesus. God has grafted us into the vine. We have believed and baptized into Christ, and Christ is in us, so we are a little part of the universal vine.

      The principle is the same with the golden lampstand. The New Jerusalem will be a universal golden lampstand in the new heavens and new earth. The city proper is a mountain of gold, and at the top is the light. God is the light, and the light is in the lamp, which is the Lamb. In the city there is one street, a spiral moving down the mountain. On the street, a river is flowing, and in the river, the tree of life is growing. In order for this to happen, the tree of life must be a vine. This is all a sign. Here the lampstand and the vine are one. The city itself is a golden lampstand, and the life of the city is the tree of life growing in the river of water of life.

      This is a picture of what we are becoming, and this is a picture of what we are. We are part of the vine. The churches are golden lampstands. As these five messages will be almost entirely focus on experience, we need to consider what happens as we live in the vine. What do we experience when we live as a branch in the vine? And what do we experience in being the golden lampstand? Since the Lord wants to speak to us concerning experience, none of us should be hiding. Rather, we need to turn our heart to Him, open our heart to Him, draw near to Him with our heart and allow Him to care for us, to shepherd us, to cherish us, to encourage us and to supply us. He would very much like to minister Himself to us.

Christ as the True Vine with the Father as the Husbandman
Being the Meaning of the Universe, of Human Life,
of Human History, of the Church, and of the Bible

      The true vine is the meaning of the universe. If there were no vine as an organism, the universe would have no meaning. The universe is a vast vineyard. It exists for the vine. This is especially true of the earth. When we see the vine, and live in the vine, we will eventually realize this is the meaning of the universe.

To abide in the vine is the meaning of human life without which our human lives would have no meaning. Most of our time is spent on human things. This is God's arrangement and this is our life. However do we live our human life in all its details and in all of its stages, apart from God, or as branches in the vine? In everything that we do, regardless how simple, ordinary, normal or routine it can be, as long as it is done in union with the Lord is meaningful. But anything we do separated from the vine is meaningless.

The vine is also the meaning of human history. The entire human history has meaning because in history God is growing the true vine. As for the vine being the meaning of the church, it is part of the vine. We all are branches. The real church life is the vine life. Finally, the vine is the meaning of the Bible. The Scriptures testify concerning Christ who is the true vine. The function of the Bible is to enlighten us and to supply us to live in Christ as the true vine.

The True Vine—Christ the Son—with Its Branches—the Believers in the Son—
is the Organism of the Triune God in the Divine Economy
to Grow with His Riches and Express His Life

      The vine is the organism of the Triune God in the divine economy. This organism is doing two main things: growing with God's riches and expressing God's life for His multiplication, spreading and glorification in His divine life. How wonderful it is that we are in this growing organism, growing with God's riches. Our God the Father who is so rich is the source and the origin of everything. All that He is and has is embodied in Christ the Son and then realized in God the Spirit as the reality. The Spirit then wrought all these riches into us, the branches. In this way, the Triune God is expressed, testified, manifested and glorified through us, the church.

      As the expression of the Triune God in the vine, we testified that the Triune God is real. When someone contacts us as those who are living as branches in this true vine on our job for instance, they contact a testimony. We are there as a testimony of the Triune God in the vine, of which we are a part. We live out the reality of being in union with the Triune God in life, mingled with Him in nature and incorporated with Him in person, having God dwelling in us and us in Him. In this way, the processed Triune God is expressed, manifested, and glorified in the church. This is the goal of God's economy, to have this enlarged, universal, divine-human incorporation of the consummated God with the regenerated believers.

As the Branches of the True Vine, We Are the Multiplication of Christ,
the Duplication of Christ, the Spreading of Christ,
and the Enlargement of Christ

      Christ, the infinite God is the vine. When we believed in the Lord, called on Him and received Him, He branched into us. As such, we became a branch in Him. Brothers and sisters, we need to see that we are already branches in the vine, one with Him organically. As branches, we are the same as God in life and nature. Christ has become our life. Therefore when we are in our jobs, living our normal, ordinary human life and handling human affairs, we are in the vine. Outwardly, we are the same as the other human beings but inwardly we are the same as God in life and in nature.

      As the branches of the vine, on the one hand, the vine is everything to the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. From the vine and through the vine, we receive everything we need to live as branches. In order to live the Christian life, we must receive and absorb the life sap from the vine. A life of receiving from the vine implies our dependence on the Lord. Moment by moment, we need our Lord being the Triune God to dispense Himself into us. By receiving His dispensing will we be able to live as branches.

      On the other hand, Christ as the vine does everything through the branches. Without Him, we can do nothing and without us, He can do nothing. We need the vine, and the vine needs us. Thus, we need to ask the Lord, "Lord Jesus, is there anything that You need me to do? Lord, I am a branch. What do You need me to do?" Every branch is precious and indispensable to the vine. The vine needs every branch.

The Vine Typifies the Sacrificing Christ, the Christ Who Sacrificed Everything of Himself,
and Out of His Sacrifice He Produced New Wine to Cheer God and Man

      Finally, concerning Christ as the Vine, He is the wine-producer, sacrificing Himself to produce wine to cheer God and others. As we are aware of, the branches of the vine grow and produce grapes. The grapes may be processed to become wine. Psalm 104:15a says, wine cheers man's heart, and Judges 9:13 says, the wine makes God and man happy. But after the grapes produced the wine, they were left outside. Then when it is time to prune the branches no one cares how the vine feels. This is a picture of the sacrificing Christ, the Christ who lives a life of sacrifice and out of His sacrifice He produced new wine to cheer God and man. He had nothing for Himself. He sacrificed everything of Himself to produce new wine. Our Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we could have joy in Him, and even more, He sacrificed Himself to produce wine to make God happy.

      If we contact the Christ typified by the vine and experience His sacrificing life, He will energize and strengthen us to live a life of sacrifice to make God and others happy. This is one of the most loving things we can do, to help one another to be happy in the Lord. In every local church, there must be brothers and sisters living this aspect of the vine life, to be the source of the new wine to the dear saints, sacrifice to produce wine to cheer their heart. In the real life, there are so many saints going through difficulties and all of us are experiencing to certain extent, the suffering of human life. How can our hearts be happy? What can cheer us up? Remember Paul during the storm in Acts 27. He himself was in the storm and the wrecked ship but he cheered up all the others. This is the vine. We need to recover this aspect of living in the vine. As we abide in the vine, being one spirit with the Lord, and let the life of the vine flows in us, we will no longer live to ourselves. We will desire to bring cheer to God, and to bring happiness to the saints by supplying them new wine to cheer their hearts. May we all learn to live such a vine life, experience Christ as the wine-producing vine and fill with Him as the new wine that we can become a drink offering to bring joy to God, happiness to the saints, and happiness to so many dear people around us.

Conclusion

      Saints, how crucial it is for us to have this vision of the vine being made clear to us. This governing vision will not only affect our living and abiding in the vine but also our corporate church life as the Body of Christ for God's expression. May the Lord be merciful to us, to grant us the real seeing of this vision and also the experience of living as a branch in the vine.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...