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B.M.

THE VINE AND THE LAMPSTAND

A CONCLUDING WORD

      Praise the Lord for His rich speaking on the Vine and the Lampstand in five messages as briefly presented in the past issues of One Accord which is to be concluded in this issue. All the five messages focused on our experiencing the vine and the lampstand. They may also be considered as the spiritual application of the vine and the lampstand on a seeking believer. As we have clearly seen, both the vine and the lampstand signify the Triune God. The vine signifies the Triune God in an organism. The lampstand signifies the Triune God embodied and expressed. Both the vine and the lampstand are the corporate expression of God. The emphasis of the vine is on life, the content and outflow of God and the emphasis of the lampstand is on light, the expression and shining of God.

      When we believed and baptized into the Lord, we have been grafted into Christ, the vine. We become a little part of the vine. The same applies with the golden lampstand. Revelation 1 shows us that the churches are the golden lampstands. At the end of Revelation, there is the New Jerusalem as the great, universal lampstand. The city is the stand with God as the light in Christ the Lamb as the lamp. In the entire city, there is only one street spiraling down the mountain. In the middle of the street is the river of the water of life. In the river and on both sides of the river, there is the tree of life. In order for this to happen, the tree of life must be a vine. Here the vine and the lampstand are one. The city itself is a golden lampstand and the life of the city is the tree of life growing in the river and on both sides of the river. This is a picture of what we are becoming and what we are. We are part of the vine and we are part of the lampstand.

~ THE VINE ~

      The true vine as the organism of the Triune God is for His multiplication, spreading, and glorification in His divine life. Christ the true vine does this through us, the branches. Thus, as branches in the vine, we need to grow with the riches of the Triune God and branch out by preaching the gospel and raising up churches. There are still many parts of Malaysia with no lampstands for instance. The vine needs to spread to these places that lampstands may be raised up for the glorification of the Triune God.

      As branches in the vine, we need to abide in the vine. Our abiding in the vine is a matter of fellowship. All our fellowship with the Lord, our prayer to Him, and our living with Him, are in our mingled spirit. Only in the mingled spirit, we can know what the Lord intends to do or accomplish. When we abide in the Lord, and His word abides in us, we will touch the Lord's feeling and understand His intention. His desire will become our desire. Our prayer will then be the expression of His desire and the Lord will answer this kind of prayer. How we need to abide in the Lord that we may pray effective prayers that the Lord may move in an unhindered way!

~ THE LAMPSTAND ~

      The golden lampstand signifies the embodiment and expression of the Triune God. The more we experience the detailed aspects of the lampstand, the more we will become in reality the golden lampstand.

      First, the lampstand is of pure gold and thus we need to be of pure gold. We can partake of gold (the divine nature) through the word, the ministry, and by paying a price.

      Second, the lampstand must have a solid form. By nature, we have our own form and express our self-likeness. But when we are regenerated, Christ came into us as the One with a solid form. He is now transforming us, and conforming us into His image. We need to experience God's organic salvation to be shaped into the image of Christ.

      Third, there are seven lamps in the lampstand, which signify the seven Spirits of God. This sevenfold intensified Spirit of God is within our regenerated spirit. They are the two lamps shining and enlightening our inward parts. We need to be opened to such a shining and enlightenment.

      Fourth, the lampstand is of beaten work. All the gold must be brought together and beaten into one entity. The Lord is not after individual units of gold, He wants a lampstand. Therefore, we must be willing to have the gold in us beaten together with the gold in others. Our willingness to pay the price to buy gold is not enough. We must also pay the price to be brought together and beaten into one entity. This is building.

      Fifth, the lampstand is a growing tree. Christ does not grow in Himself, but in us. How we need to cooperate with the Lord and give Him the thoroughfare within our being that He may grow in us and through us! The more the Lord grows in us and through us, the more light there will be in the church.

      Sixth, the cups of the lampstand shaped like almond blossoms. Almond blossoms signify the blossoming of the resurrection life. There is an urgent need for this blossoming in the Lord's recovery. We need to be willing to be killed in our natural life. Only then can we experience the blossoming of the resurrection life.

      Seventh, if we would be the golden lampstands in reality, we need to love the Lord with the first love, the best love. To love the Lord with the first love is to give Him the preeminence, regard Christ as everything and not love anyone or anything above Him. In order to give Him the preeminence, we must be willing to be adjusted, broken and be made nothing, so that the Lord will have a way in us, through us, and among us for the building up of His organic Body. Eventually we realized that we do not have such love in ourselves. We love because He first loves us. He infuses His loving essence into us that we may love Him.

      Eighth, the charred wicks of the lampstand need to be snuffed with the pure golden snuffers. As we know, when the charred wick becomes long, the light is neither bright nor pure. Thus we need the Lord to snuff our old and charred natural life that the shining of the resurrection life may be bright and pure.

      Ninth, the lampstand is the church as the embodiment and expression of the Triune God. This expression is God manifested in the flesh. Not only Christ is God manifested in the flesh, the church as His Body is also the enlarged, corporate expression of God in the flesh. Whether or not we are this expression in reality depends upon whether or not we are in the Spirit. For this, we need to practice to be one spirit with the Lord, to walk according to the Spirit and to exercise our spirit unto godliness that the Lord may have such a corporate expression! When we experience every detail of the golden lampstand, we as the local churches will gradually be the lampstand not only in position, but also in reality.

Experiencing The Lampstand from Another Aspect

>      Now we need to look at this matter from another angle. First, God desires many more golden lampstands. We should not simply rest in our locality. The Lord is burdened to multiply the lampstand. This desire in the Lord needs to be in our heart. It needs to be in our prayer. Then when the Lord takes the lead in the work for expansion, we should be fully one with that. As we are experiencing the Triune God for the lampstand, we should be open to receive His burden for propagation.

>      Second, according to the book of Revelation, all the lampstands are identical. Outwardly, there are certain local differences, but the lampstands are the same. As we are multiplying the lampstand, we need to be watchful that certain brothers would not take advantage of the local situation to do something different. In the book, The Divine Economy, Brother Lee addressed this point about all the lampstand being identical and he says, "When the Lord has this situation on the earth, He will come back." We are the same not because we practice uniformity. We are the same because we are all buying gold, being shaped into the same image, experiencing the lamp shining, experiencing the growing tree, the blossoming of the light and the hammering of the gold together. As the saints all over the earth are having the same experiences, we are all the same intrinsically.

>      Third, in this age, the Lord must have golden lampstands. But these lampstands are not God's ultimate goal. God's ultimate goal is for all the lampstands to become one universal golden lampstand, New Jerusalem. What we are doing in our locality today must match the New Jerusalem. All of the gold in us is being brought together to be the lampstand in our locality. Eventually all the gold in all the lampstands will be brought together to be New Jerusalem.

>      In conclusion, there are few things about the New Jerusalem that we need to experience. First, the New Jerusalem is a mountain. In the New Testament, a mountain signifies resurrection and ascension. As the days go by in the year 2012, the Lord will operate in all of us to bring us more into resurrection. Then this mountain is made of pure gold, and this gold is like clear glass, transparent glass, with only one street in the city. This shows us the entire city is transparent; everything is truthful, pure and genuine. We need to learn to be properly transparent in the fellowship and in living our church life. In other words, when we are having fellowship together, and a matter has not been decided, and we have some feeling within us, we should share and express it. That is transparent. But if we have something in us which we should express out but we do not, that is opaque, not transparent.

>      In the New Jerusalem, we all partake of the tree of life. This is the primary matter in the church life. The tree of life is a vine growing in the river of water of life. This river of water of life is the unique flow, the only one flow on the golden street, with the tree of life to sustain the lampstand. This is God's goal and God's goal is our goal. God's goal is the New Jerusalem as the universal golden lampstand. For this, we need to experience resurrection, be properly transparent in fellowship, partake of the tree of life and stay in the flow. This is the vine and the lampstand, for our experience and enjoyment. May the Lord bless all of us with more gold, more God, more Christ, more Spirit, more love, more life, more light, more reality, for more golden lampstands.

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