IV. The Consummation of the Local Churches
How does the Bible end?What is a fitting conclusion to sixty-six books and a period of 1,600 years from its beginning to its completion?Certainly the Bible could have concluded in any one of a multitude of ways just as it covers a multitude of subjects, only a few of which have been touched on here.We have seen that the Bible presents to us the local churches as the God-ordained way for believers to meet together.It shows us that the Lords desire is for all of His believers to be one and, in addition, that this oneness should be manifested in every city by the believers meeting there as the one local church.We have also seen that the local churches are places where the believers enjoy Christ as their feast, eating and drinking Him every day as their spiritual food.From the Lords own words it is clear that Gods real intention for His children is not primarily that they would be given teachings and doctrines, but that in every local church the Lord would have an open door to come in to His believers and dine with them.It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the Bible ends with the local churches consummating in the New Jerusalem, where all of Gods people will eat, drink, and feast on Him for eternity.Witness Lee explains:
What do the 22 chapters of Revelation teach? The book of Romans gives the complete Christian life. First Corinthians teaches so many things about the church. But what does Revelation tell us? I would say that there is hardly any teaching in this book. It mainly tells us about the local churches which eventually become the New Jerusalem.
The New Jerusalem will be the consummation of all the local churches. In the New Jerusalem is the Tree of Life. And in the first epistle to the first church of this book, the promise is that of eating of the Tree of Life. In the local churches there is the Tree of Life, and in the New Jerusalem also is the Tree of Life. This shows us that all the local churches will eventually become the New Jerusalem. (43)
There is no doctrinal teaching in the Book of Revelation; no justification by faith, no sanctification, and no redemption. It emphatically tells us about the local churches, and that the consummation of these local churches will be the New Jerusalem. (44)
Witness Lee reminds us that the entire Bible concludes with an eternal feastóGods people enjoying Christ as the Tree of Life and the river of water of life for eternity. The focus of Revelation, as the final book of the Bible, is therefore the New Jerusalem as the eternal consummation of the local churches, where Gods people have been learning to feast on Him.
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