a stone with seven eyes for God’s building

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

The Old Testament prophet Zachariah tells us in chapter 3 that a stone with seven eyes will be engraved with an inscription. And by this engraving, the iniquity of the people will be removed in one day. The New Testament gospel of John tells us that the Lamb of God takes away the sins of the people. The stone with the seven eyes in Zachariah is this Lamb of God in John. And in the final book…Revelation…this Lamb-stone with seven eyes reappears.

This subject that we are going to consider in this broadcast is quite mysterious but very wonderful and very practical. Br. Witness Lee’s title for this message from 1976 was “The stone with seven eyes for God’s building.”

We want to review the matter of the lampstand because we’re going to see a definite connection today between the lampstand and this stone with seven eyes. The lampstand in the Bible is a tremendous symbol, and the first time we see this vision of the lampstand is in Exodus 25. There the lampstand is described in some detail, and it signifies Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God.

And then as we go on in the Old Testament again we encounter more details concerning the lampstand in the book of Zachariah which is where we are today. And there…in the mentioning of the lampstand…the main thing there is the seven lamps which are the seven eyes of Jehovah God. So here we see a further development. And these seven lamps are related to the Spirit of God. So in the Old Testament the lampstand is only one. But when we get to Revelation chapter one we can see a further development of this revelation or vision of the lampstand. Here we have not one lampstand but we have seven lampstands. And each lampstand signifies a local church.

So this is a tremendous progression in the vision of the lampstand, and it shows us that the one lampstand revealed in the Old Testament is eventually multiplied and reproduced to be many lampstands which are many local churches.

Zachariah 3 and 9. How can we say or how can we know that this stone with seven eyes is Christ? It is by the second half of this verse. “Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof says the Lord of host. I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” It means that the Lord Jesus as the building stone…He was dealt with…engraved…on the cross by God for the iniquity of God’s people. In that one day by that one engraving on the cross, the Lord Jesus removed all the sins of God’s people.

The next half of this verse equals to John 1:29…”Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” This means to remove the iniquity of God’s people. So by this half of the verse we can know that the stone with seven eyes is Christ. Then we read chapter 4 of the same book (verse 2). Now in this verse we see the lampstand has seven lamps. If you would exercise your spirit, surely you would understand the lampstand here equals to the stone. The stone is Christ and the lampstand is also Christ. And the stone we can understand easily it is for the building. And the lampstand is for enlightening. And on the stone you have the seven eyes and on the lampstand you have the seven lamps.

This is a real clue and a real indication that this stone is Christ. And it is a little mysterious because it speaks about the stone being engraved with an inscription. And of course we know that to engrave a stone you need to cut that stone…you need to chisel a piece out of that stone. In many places in the Bible, Christ is referred to as a stone. He is a stone for God’s building. He is the foundation stone. He is the cornerstone. He is the living stone. He is the precious stone. He is the top stone. He is all these kinds of stones for the building of God’s house.

In Zachariah 3:9 we can see that this stone has seven eyes. And that it is engraved with an inscription so that the iniquity of God’s people can be removed in one day. Well, if we go on to the book of Revelation in chapter 5, we can see that there’s a Lamb there with seven eyes. In Zachariah, there’s a Stone with seven eyes. In Revelation, there’s a Lamb with seven eyes. And we know that the Lamb of God is Christ and that He is the one who removed the iniquity of God’s people in one day through His crucifixion…through His death on the cross. So when the Lord was crucified this was like the engraving of a stone. When He was crucified, He’s was cut on the cross and He was engraved. And through this engraving or through His death on the cross, all the sins of God’s people were removed by God so that God could then carry on…in His people…the work of building.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. Full of grace and reality. Behold the lamb of God. This One is the Word. And this One is God. And this One is the flesh. And this One is Jesus. And in this One is the life, and the life is the light of men. You have to add one thing. A stone. Then at the end of the same chapter, when Nathanael was attracted and this wonderful One told him, “…you shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Right away, we all can realize that this simple word brings us back to Bethel. So you can see even John chapter one covers from eternity past to eternity future. In eternity past was the Word, and the Word was God there. Now in eternity future there will be the Bethel the House of God. The dwelling of God. That will be the New Jerusalem.

After a number of years when he was very old…exiled to the island of Patmos…the Lord charged John to write the last book of the whole Bible. And eventually he developed to such an extent showing us that this seven spirits are the seven lamps and the seven eyes which were covered in Zachariah. He told us that these seven lamps which are the seven eyes are both the Stone and the Lord in Zachariah are today the seven Spirits of God. And this seven Spirits of God today are the seven eyes of the redeeming Lamb. And this redeeming Lamb is the overcoming Lion. He surely has defeated the enemy of God. So He was qualified to be the redeeming Lion. God engraved Him…dealt with Him on the cross. Just by that one dealing in that one day, all the sins of God’s people were removed. Because as the redeeming Lamb, He did this. So He became eventually the building stone. Today He is the Lion-Lamb-Stone.

And this stone seven eyes shining. Shining…burning before the throne of God. To accomplish God’s eternal economy.

Living Stream Ministry

for we are His masterpiece

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

Genesis chapter 1 tells us that God created all things: the heavens, the earth, the universe, man and all the living creatures. And how even a simple gaze at creation often fills us with awe as we consider His creation. But not until the New Testament book of Ephesians are we told what is at the very top of all that He has done and even all that He is doing. Or to use Paul’s language in Ephesians, what is His “masterpiece.” Listen to Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.”

WE are His masterpiece. “We” meaning the church. We will get into God’s masterpiece on our program today.

Only grace can produce this masterpiece. We in ourselves are not able to do anything that would result in the creation of this masterpiece of God. We must receive from God something which the Bible calls grace.

What do you understand by the term grace? What is grace: God dispensed into us. The very God who has been dispensed into us is the grace. “Saved by grace” means by God dispensed and still dispensing into us. Grace came through Jesus Christ. Grace came like a person. And here in Ephesians…from chapter one…you can see the very saving grace is God Himself in Christ wrought into our being.

We have stressed emphatically in chapter one the basic controlling factor there is the Triune God dispensed into our being. It is this Triune God that saved us. So “we are saved by grace” means we are saved by the dispensed God. The very God who has been dispensed into us…saved us.

The processed God transmitted into you in the grace. This is the abounding grace…amazing grace.

Living Stream Ministry

the priesthood and the kingship

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

There are two (2) basic ministries that characterize both the Old and New Testament. The ministry of the priesthood and the ministry of the kingship. It’s interesting that in Matthew chapter 3, we see two representatives of these two basic ministries together as the age is changing.

Well, we’re coming to the first part of Matthew chapter 3 today and the appearance of the ministry of John the Baptist. This chapter is very interesting, because in a very real sense the whole age is changing…some would say the dispensation is changing. This is a pivot point in God’s economy…in His divine revelation. And we see these two ministries…John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ…together in this chapter for the first time. It’s very interesting…John the Baptist’s heritage is one out of the tribe of Levi which was the tribe of the priesthood. And John the Baptist was somebody who ended the Old Testament economy which was of the law.

The law was lifeless…helpless…could cause no one to really experience the King…but only be exposed by the King. But this marvelous ministry of John the Baptist also introduced the King of kings and ushered people to the King and allowed the King to be brought to the people.

John the Baptist ministry therefore is something that terminated the Old Testament economy and ushered in the New Testament economy…which is an economy of grace. And grace is just God in Christ coming to us to be our life and our everything…even coming into us to be our “Inside King.”

So John the Baptist terminated that Old Testament priesthood and brought us into the New Testament priesthood which is a priesthood full of the experience of Christ. Full of the King of the kingdom of the heavens who wants to come into us as life and everything and be the “Inside King” within us.

We need to repent for the kingdom.

In the whole Bible, there are only two basic ministries that constitute the kingdom of God. And these two ministries are firstly the priesthood…then the kingship. In the Old Testament, the priesthood was with the tribe of Levi. John the Baptist was just a descendant of Levi. He is the consummation of the priesthood of the Old Testament. Then Jesus is the consummation of the Old Testament kingship. The kingship in the Old Testament was in the tribe of Judah, and Jesus came to be a descendant of Judah as the consummation of the kingship.

So you can see these two persons…John the Baptist and Jesus Christ…They, on the one hand, terminated the old priesthood and kingship. They also germinated the New Testament priesthood and kingship. When the priesthood brings people to God, the kingship brings God to man. Then there is the heavenly reigning…the heavenly ruling. That is the kingdom.

And this kingdom is just today’s proper church life. And this church life will continue till the millennium comes. Then in the millennial kingdom, there will be the priesthood and the kingship. The overcomers will be there…on the one hand the priests…and on the other hand the kings. So in the millennial kingdom, the priesthood and the kingship will be even stronger to maintain God’s kingdom on this earth. That the king may have the people and all the people may gain the king. This is the millennium.

Then after the millennium there will be no more need of the priesthood. What will be left for eternity will be only the kingship, because in the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem, everyone is in the presence of God. So there’s no need any longer for the priesthood to bring people to God, because by that time God will be with man. God’s presence eliminates the priesthood by that time. But the kingship will be still there reigning over the surrounding nations.

Well, this is just a summary of the whole Bible in the light of the priesthood and the kingship.

Living Stream Ministry

His ministry was the ministry of Jubilee

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

In Luke, the start of the ministry of the Man Savior was chapter 4 with Jubilee, and the Jubilee concept should govern the writing of all the following chapters.  Now you come to chapter 9, 5,000 men with their wives…children, if they would be dismissed with hunger, there would be no more Jubilee. This one and than one would complain. “Nearly the whole day, I didn’t get any food.” Would this be Jubilee? This would be famine. The people would be full of hunger. But after the feeding there was real Jubilee.

The Lord sent the 12 to spread His ministry. What was His ministry? His ministry was the ministry of Jubilee. There would be no poor ones. All poor ones would be filled up. There would be no more captives. All captives would be released. And all would be brought back to the enjoyment of God. What is this?

This is Jubilee declared in chapter 4. Twelve (12) baskets of leftovers. This is Jubilee. In the kingdom of God could there be some kind of hunger? No! Jubilee. In the Jubilee there would be no hunger, but satisfaction. Everybody would be satisfied and there still would be some left over.

The disciples approach…in Luke chapter 9…was to ask the Lord to send the crowds away so that they could provide food for themselves. This approach really is in the principle of the law. The law places requirements on man. In order to fulfill the law, man has to do something out of himself to meet those requirements. There is no supply from God to meet the requirements of the law.

But the principle of Grace…which is the New Testament principle…is that God supplies man with everything that man needs to fulfill the requirements of God and also to satisfy man’s inner hunger. God doesn’t ask us to do something; He asks us to receive what He supplies.

So in this story here (Luke 9), the Lord asked the disciples to make the people recline in groups of 50, and then the Lord proceeded in a wonderful way…under Gods’ blessing…to feed this great crowd of people…to supply every one of them so that not one of them was hungry. Everyone was fully satisfied. And there was an overabundance of supply. This is the real Jubilee. When everyone has his hunger fully satisfied and still there is something left over. This is God’s New Testament Gospel. This is God’s New Testament economy.

Living Stream Ministry