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[2019 ST-CRYSTALLIZATION STUDY OF NUMBERS (2)]-WEEK1-DAY3

WEEK 1

The All-inclusive Christ Being the Allotted Portion of the Saints, according to God’s Choice, as Their Divine Inheritance for Their Enjoyment

‹‹ DAY 3 ››

Morning Nourishment

Col. 2:6-7 As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him…

19 …Holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.

Colossians 2:7…speaks of being built up in Christ. As we grow in Christ, we are being built up in Him. Years ago, I considered the building up in 2:7 to mean the building up with the saints. But this is not the meaning here. Rather, the meaning is that we ourselves need to become built up…by growing. The building up of the Body depends upon the individual and personal building up of all the members. If a particular member has not been built up, it will not be possible for him to be built up in the Body. To be built up in the Body we first must be built up in ourselves. When we have become built-up members, we shall then be able to be built up with others in the Body. Therefore, the building up in 2:7 is not that of the Body corporately, but the building up of the members individually. In Ephesians 4:16, on the contrary, we have the building up of the Body in a corporate way.

  If we would walk in Christ, we need to absorb His riches by being rooted in Him and to be built up as individual members of the Body. We need to sink our roots into Christ deeper and deeper so that we may absorb more of His riches. Then we shall grow and be built up in Him. Having fulfilled these two conditions, we shall then be able to walk in Christ. (Life-study of Colossians, pp. 449-450)

Today’s Reading

In Colossians 2:19 Paul speaks of”holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.” Holding the Head is equal to abiding in Christ. Of course, to hold the Head implies that we are not detached, or severed, from Him. At the time Paul wrote to the Colossians, they had been somewhat detached from Christ by their culture. Culture can be a form of insulation which keeps us from Christ. To hold the Head is to remain in Christ without any insulation between us and Him.

  The words”out from whom” in verse 19 indicate that something is coming out from the Head to cause the Body to grow. The growth of the Body depends on what comes out of Christ as the Head, just as the growth of a plant depends on what comes into the plant from the soil. If a plant does not absorb nutrients from the soil, the plant cannot grow. Likewise, if we do not receive what comes out from Christ as the Head, the Body cannot grow. Holding the Head is, therefore, equal to being rooted in Christ as the soil.

  First, we grow individually, then corporately. Individual growth becomes corporate growth. Hence, not only are the members built up individually, but the Body is built up corporately…. [Our physical body illustrates that] if all the members grow and build themselves up individually, the body will be built up corporately.

  After a church has been in a locality for a certain period of time, friction may develop between the saints, even among the leading ones. How can the church be built up if there is such friction? Along with the friction, there must also be growth. This growth will nullify the effect of the friction. I can testify that throughout the years in the church life, there has been considerable friction caused by the enemy. But the growth in Christ has canceled out all this friction. Therefore, we can be happy together and truly one. The shortages among us are filled by the riches of Christ. Then we grow both individually and corporately. This is the genuine building of the church. The building up of the church is based upon the building up of the individual members. Furthermore, the building of the members depends on their growth, which, in turn, depends upon being rooted in Christ and absorbing the riches of Christ to become the very element with which the members grow. (Life-study of Colossians, pp. 453, 459-460)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Colossians, msgs. 51-52

OUTLINE

ⅡThe book of Numbers reveals the prearrangement of the distribution of the good land, typifying the sharing of the enjoyment of the rich Christ according to God’s choice—32:1-42; 33:50—36:13:

AThe good land is surrounded by two seas (the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea) and one river (the Jordan River); these two seas and this river all signify the death of Christ—34:2-3, 6, 12.

BThis indicates that the enjoyment of Christ is closely related to His death; the enjoyment of Christ must be in the sphere, the territory, of His death—Phil. 3:7-11.

CThat the good land rose up from the waters that bordered it on either side indicates that it is an elevated, uplifted land; this signifies the resurrected and ascended Christ, the heavenly Christ, who has entered into us in His resurrection (John 20:22) and whose riches we enjoy in His ascension (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-4).

DThe request by Reuben and Gad to receive the land that God had promised (Num. 32:1-5, 33) was not wrong; however, they were not right in wanting to receive this according to their choice as to what was best:

1Eventually, their land was the first part of the land of Israel to be taken over by the Gentile invaders from the east (1 Chron. 5:25-26); those who remain halfway and are satisfied with only a little blessing from God will be easily captured by the enemy.

2In spiritual matters it is much better to not act according to our choice but to leave matters in the hand of the Lord and let Him do according to His choice—Hymns, #907; cf. Gen. 13:5-18.

3The land requested by Reuben and Gad could be reached without crossing the river Jordan, which signifies the old man not being dealt with and buried (see footnotes on Joshua 3:16—4:12); only after our old man has been dealt with and buried (Rom. 6:3-6) are we in a position to possess the all-inclusive Christ as the good land for our enjoyment.

4The land given to Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (Num. 32:33), the land that was according to their choice, could be reached without crossing the Jordan and thus was not actually a part of the good land of Canaan (cf. 34:14-15; 35:14); this indicates that, in type, it was outside the death of Christ.