Witness Lee on the local church: Eating and Drinking Christ in the Local Churches
Witness Lee on the local church: Oneness


The Local Church 

Shift of Emphasis 

Eating & Drinking



IV. The Consummation of the Local Churches

Witness Lee points out the fact that for eternity the believers will be enjoying Christ by the practical way of eating and drinking Him to forever satisfy their hunger and thirst:

Chapter seven tells us something of eternity.“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:16-17).
Some may think that to speak about eating and drinking is too shallow. “Why not speak about something deeper?” But the Lord Jesus does not like to speak about something deeper. He wants to speak about something practical. Nothing is so practical as eating and drinking. Nothing is so practical as something that will satisfy our hunger and thirst. The Lamb shall feed them; so there will be no hunger and thirst. And He shall lead them to the fountains of waters of life. There will not only be one fountain, for the Lord is not that poor. There will be many fountains. And there will not only be one water, but many waters of life. “Fountains of waters of life.” It is one life with many fountains and many flowing waters.
The Lord says that He will feed them and lead them to the fountains of waters of life. Then in chapter 21 He says that it is done. What is done? All the preparation for eating and drinking! “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (v. 6). Everything is ready for eating and drinking. It is done. Just come and eat, come and drink.
Then the last chapter says: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations“ (vv. 1-2). Out of the throne of God and the Lamb means out of the throne of the Lamb-God. God is now the Lamb-God. He is the redeeming God, and out of His throne proceeds the river of water of life. Now it is not just a fountain, but a river. A river is proceeding out of the redeeming God, and it is clear as crystal. What is the purpose of this river? It must be for us to drink! We all must drink of the river of the water of life.
And on the two sides of the river grows the Tree of Life. The water is for drinking and the Tree of Life is for eating. Oh, brothers, we must eat Christ, and we must drink Christ! We must enjoy Christ all the time by eating the Tree of Life and by drinking the river of life.
Finally, Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come, and let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The Book of Revelation starts with the local churches, and it ends with eating and drinking. (41-43)

Witness Lee concludes by encouraging us to enjoy today in the local churches the foretaste of our eternal portion—to eat and drink Christ as our eternally rich feast:

When we get into eternity, the Lamb will feed us and lead us to the fountains of waters of life. It is not only one fountain, but fountains of waters of life. Day by day we will drink of these fountains. I believe we can understand this because we have enjoyed the foretaste in the local churches. The local churches should not be places for teachings. We should not care for teachings, but for eating and drinking of the Lord Jesus.
As we have seen, in the New Jerusalem, there is a river of water of life flowing out of the throne of the redeeming God. And in the flowing of the living water, on both sides of the river, grows the Tree of Life. This is for us to eat for eternity. Our duty is simply to eat and drink. We will do nothing but enjoy Christ as the living water and as the Life–Tree.
Praise the Lord, we have nothing to do with the world, and we have nothing to do with Babylon. Our only concern is to enjoy Christ and to feed on Him in the local churches. Here we enjoy Christ, here we minister Christ, here we eat Christ, and here we drink Christ. Hallelujah, eventually we will feast in the New Jerusalem! But today we have a real foretaste in the local churches. (48)