Message Outline

Scripture Reading: Jer. 2:13; 15:16; 17:7-8, 19-27; 23:5-6; 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12 Jer 2:13

I. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah / And whose trust Jehovah is. / And he will be like a tree transplanted beside water, / Which sends out its roots by a stream, / And will not be afraid when heat comes; / For its leaves remain flourishing, / And it will not be anxious in the year of drought / And will not cease to bear fruit”:

A. These verses can be understood in two different ways—according to the natural understanding or according to God’s economy; these verses are not concerned with a shallow matter of trusting in God to receive material blessings; actually, these verses refer to God’s economy carried out by His dispensing:

  1. The revelation here reveals that according to God’s economy, the one who trusts in God is like a tree transplanted beside water, signifying God as the fountain of living waters (2:13a); we not only trust in God, but also God Himself is our trust in Him. Jer 2:13a For My people have committed two evils: / They have forsaken Me, / The fountain of living waters, …

  2. The tree grows beside water by absorbing all the riches of the water into it; this is a picture of God’s dispensing; in order to receive the divine dispensing, we as the trees must absorb God as the living water to be dispensed into our being in order to become our very constituent.

B. The thought here is the same as that in 1 Corinthians 3:6, where Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth”; the watering is for the tree’s absorbing, and the absorbing is the receiving of God’s dispensing:

  1. The tree grows with God as the Supplier and the supply; the supply is the riches of the supplying God dispensed into us as the plants so that we may grow into God’s measure; eventually, the plants and God, God and the plants, become one, having the same element, essence, constitution, and appearance—Col. 2:19. Col 2:19 And not 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.

  2. We all need to see the crucial significance of absorbing God as the living water that we may be constituted with His element and essence and grow with the growth of God; where the growth in life is lacking, the believers’ Christian life will be a mess, the church life will be damaged, and the Body life will be destroyed.

  3. In order to grow in life for the building up of the Body of Christ, we need to absorb God by taking root downward and bearing fruit upward (Isa. 37:31); this means that we need to have hidden times of fellowship with God (Matt. 6:6; 14:22-23); the empowering, enlightening, enjoying of rest, rejoicing, believing, solving of problems, overcoming of trials, temptations, and hardships, and comforting for a Christian all depend upon his secret fellowship with God through prayer and God’s word (Dan. 6:10; Col. 4:2; 2 Tim. 3:14-17).

II. In Jeremiah 17:19-27 we have a word about keeping God’s Sabbath; the way to keep God’s Sabbath is to enjoy Him, to rest in Him, and to be satisfied in Him as the fountain of living waters—2:13:

A. In Exodus 31:12-17, after a long record concerning the building up of God’s dwelling place, there is a repetition of the commandment to keep the Sabbath; according to Colossians 2:16-17 and Matthew 11:28-30, Christ is the reality of the Sabbath rest—Heb. 4:7-9; Isa. 30:15a:

  1. If we only know how to work for the Lord but do not know how to rest with Him, we are acting contrary to the divine principle:

a. God rested on the seventh day because He had finished His work and was satisfied; God’s glory was manifested because man had His image, and His authority was about to be exercised for the subduing of His enemy, Satan; as long as man expresses God and deals with God’s enemy, God is satisfied and can rest—Gen. 1:26, 31; 2:1-2.

b. Later, the seventh day was commemorated as the Sabbath (Exo. 20:8-11); God’s seventh day was man’s first day; after man was created, he did not join in God’s work; he entered into God’s rest.

  1. Man was created not to work first but to be satisfied with God and rest with God; with God it is a matter of working and resting, but with man it is a matter of resting and working; it is a divine principle that after a full enjoyment of God, we may work together with Him—cf. Matt. 11:28-30:

a. If we do not know how to enjoy God Himself and how to be filled with God, we will not know how to work with Him and be one with Him in His divine work; man enjoys what God has accomplished in His work.

b. On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Spirit, which means that they were filled with the enjoyment of Christ as the heavenly wine; only after they were filled with this enjoyment did they begin to work with God in oneness with Him—Acts 2:4a, 12-14.

B. As God’s people, we must bear a sign that we rest with God, enjoy God, and are filled up with God first; then we work with the very One who fills us; furthermore, we not only work with God but also work by being one with God, having Him as our strength to work and our energy to labor—Exo. 31:13, 17

C. In the church life we may do many things without first enjoying the Lord and without serving the Lord by being one with the Lord; that kind of service results in spiritual death and the loss of the fellowship in the Body—vv. 14-15.

D. The work of the Lord to build up the church should begin with the enjoyment of God, which will indicate that we do not work for God by our own strength but by enjoying Him and being one with Him; this is to keep the principle of the Sabbath with Christ as the inner rest in our spirit—1 Cor. 3:9; 15:58; 16:10; 2 Cor. 6:1a

III. The book of Jeremiah is an abstract of the entire Bible; Jeremiah’s prophecy indicates that only Christ can fulfill God’s economy and only Christ is the answer to God’s requirements in His economy; the picture portrayed by Jeremiah shows that we are nothing and that Christ is everything to us:

A. Jeremiah speaks of Christ, in the fulfilling of God’s economy, being our righteousness and our redemption (23:5-6), of God being the fountain of living waters (2:13), of Christ being our food (15:16), and of Christ as the reality of the new covenant with all its blessings (31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12):

  1. On the one hand, we may say that the new covenant is synonymous with God’s economy, being the contents and substance of God’s economy—Jer. 31:31-34; Job 10:13; cf. Eph. 3:9:

a. All the major items of the new covenant are the contents of God’s economy and His dispensing with both His judicial redemption and organic salvation to deify us for the building up of the Body of Christ, consummating in the New Jerusalem.

b. The apostles’ ministry is the ministry for God’s new covenant economy; it is the new covenant ministry that is centered on the economy of God—1 Tim. 1:3-4; cf. 2 Cor. 3:3, 6.

  1. On the other hand, we may say that the new covenant is the way that God fulfills, or accomplishes, His economy; 2 Corinthians reveals that the ministry of the new covenant is for the accomplishment of God’s eternal economy—2:12—4:1.

B. Christ is the reality of the new testament, the new covenant, the reality of all that God is and of all that God has given to us; therefore, Christ is the new covenant:

  1. The bequests are many, but all these many bequests are actually one person—the pneumatic Christ—Isa. 42:6; 49:8; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12; John 20:22; Eph. 3:8.

  2. The bequests bequeathed to us by the Lord in the new testament are inexhaustible, and they are for us to experience and enjoy through the Spirit for eternity—Heb. 9:15.

  3. We need to take the ancient paths of our forefathers by walking in the way of the new covenant focused on the economy of God, the way that leads to life; the bypaths are the paths of Satan’s schemes according to his devious stratagems that lead to destruction; to take the bypaths is to go downward, but to take the ancient paths, a way that is cast up, is to go upward—Jer. 18:15; cf. Matt. 7:13-14.

  4. In the new covenant, the eternal covenant, God gives us one heart and one way (Jer. 32:39-41); the one heart is a heart to love God, to seek God, to live God, and to be constituted with God so that we may be His expression; the one way is the Triune God Himself as the inner law of life with its divine capacity (31:33-34); this one heart and one way are the one accord (Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; Rom. 15:6).

C. As the ascended One sitting on the throne in the heavens, Christ is now executing the new covenant, which He has bequeathed to us as a testament, interceding for us and ministering to us that we may realize, experience, and enjoy all the bequests contained in the new testament—Heb. 12:2; 7:25; 8:1-2:

  1. The new testament, the new covenant, the will, has been validated by Christ’s death and is being executed and enforced by Christ in His resurrection and ascension

  2. The new covenant has been bequeathed to us as the new testament, and now, in the mystical realm of His heavenly ministry, Christ is executing what He has bequeathed.

  3. Christ is now in the heavens, living, divine, and capable; He is able to execute the new testament, the new covenant, in every detail, making every bequest in it available and real to us:

a. As the divine High Priest, Christ is executing the new covenant by interceding for us, praying that we would be brought into the reality of the new covenant— 7:25.

b. As the Mediator, the Executor, of the new covenant, Christ in His heavenly ministry is executing the new testament and carrying out in us every item of its bequests—8:6; 9:15; 12:24

c. As the surety of the new covenant, Christ is the pledge that everything in the new covenant will be fulfilled; He guarantees and ensures the effectiveness of the new testament—7:22

d. As the Minister of the true (heavenly) tabernacle, Christ is serving us with the bequests, the blessings, of the new testament, making the facts of the new covenant effective in our experience—8:2.

e. As the great Shepherd of the sheep, Christ, by His shepherding, is consummating the New Jerusalem according to God’s eternal covenant—13:20.

D. If we would receive the application of all the blessings in the new covenant, we need to be those who respond to Christ’s heavenly ministry—12:1-2; Col. 3:1:

  1. Christ’s ministry in heaven to execute the new covenant requires our response—Heb. 7:25; 4:16; 10:19, 22:

a. For centuries Christ has tried without adequate success to gain a group of people to respond to His ministry in the heavens.

b. By the Lord’s mercy and grace, there is on earth today a group of people in the Lord’s recovery responding to the heavenly ministry of Christ.

c. As the Head is in heaven interceding for us and ministering to us, we, the Body, are on earth responding to Christ’s heavenly ministry, corresponding to and reflecting what He is doing to execute the new covenant—Eph. 1:22-23; 4:15- 16; Acts 6:4.

  1. Our eyes must be opened to see the heavenly vision of the new testament, the new covenant, the will, with all its bequests—Eph. 1:17-18; Acts 26:18-19:

a. The Father promised everything, and the Lord Jesus accomplished everything; now all the accomplished facts have been itemized in the will as our bequests— Luke 22:20; Heb. 9:16-17.

b. If we have the heavenly vision to see that all of God’s blessings are bequests in the will, we will pray not as poor beggars but as glorious inheritors, receiving the bequests by faith—Rom. 8:17; Eph. 3:6; Heb. 6:17; 1:14.

c. If we have the heavenly view of the new testament, the new covenant, our concept will be changed, we will be radically revolutionized, and we will be beside ourselves with praise to the Lord—2 Cor. 5:13; Rev. 5:6-13.

E. We need all twenty-seven books of the New Testament to define Jeremiah 31:31-34: Jer 31:31 Indeed, days are coming, declares Jehovah, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

  1. If we understand this portion in the light of the entire New Testament, we will see that in this new covenant we have the church, the kingdom of God, God’s household, the house of God as God’s dwelling place in our spirit, the new man, and the Body of Christ as the fullness of the processed and consummated Triune God.

  2. Eventually, this new covenant will bring in the millennium; ultimately and consummately, it will bring in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth for eternity.