2 March 1957, at Peitou, Taiwan.
I was just wondering how many of you were here when I came last time. Perhaps not too many of you, however, I am glad to make new friends as well as to come back to old friends. We are glad to have this little time of fellowship with you today and we are praying that the Lord would meet us and will give us something from Himself.
I am going to turn you to the Word of the Lord, that is, to the last words in the book of the prophecy of Ezekiel. The last sentence in that great book is this, "And the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah Shammah." Jehovah Shammah means, "the Lord is there" and this place was to have written over it this name of the Lord.
This city that we are in here has been built as a city on earth. But the City that is being built, is a spiritual City, it is the heavenly Jerusalem. And the New Testament teaches us that we believers in the Lord Jesus are that City. You remember the words in the letter to the Hebrews, "Ye are come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God." Now, that is not a place to which we have come, we "are come" to it in this sense: that we are now that City. That City is wherever the Lord's people are, and if you come to belong to the Lord, then you become a part of the Lord's City. You see, the City is just a figure and the reality is the Lord's people. It is not in any city on this earth, but it is amongst the people of this earth that this word is fulfilled. It is where the Lord's people are that His name is, and His name is Jehovah Shammah; the Lord is there!
Now, we have just come from one company of the Lord's people, and I was saying to them that I have been wondering why they go by numbers instead of by names: Number 1 Assembly, Number 2 Assembly, Number 3 Assembly, and why they don't have a name instead of a number.
You know, in England, if they put people in prison, they go by a number and not by a name. They lose their names and they are always called Number So and So. Now, you are not people in prison and you ought to have a name! I suggested to those friends where we were that it would be a good thing if they would take the name "Bethany" and I spent half an hour explaining to them what Bethany means.
I don't know if you will take this name and put it on your door, but I think you could take this name spiritually and instead of being known as the church in Peitou, you might be called "Jehovah Shammah", and that might be your name from today onward. Whether you take the name or not, I hope you will take the meaning and that you will be true to this name, "The Lord is there". Could you have a more wonderful name than that? I cannot think, out of all the names in the Bible, that there is one better than this.
Supposing that everybody who knew anything about you was able to say, "The Lord is there; when you go among those people you find the Lord." The one thing for which you are known is the presence of the Lord.
Now, I could spend all day telling you what that means. As I think about this name, so many things come to mind. Do you know that this prophet is just full of what it means, that the Lord is there? He said the Lord has chosen Zion to be the place where His name is. That is the first idea, the place where the Lord is, is the place where the people are chosen of the Lord. The Apostle Paul said, "He has chosen us and the purpose for which He has chosen us is to put His name upon us."
of the Lord
The idea of Israel was that they should be called by the name of the Lord. When we come over to the New Testament, we find that believers are baptized into the name of the Lord. The Apostle James speaks of that Holy Name which was called upon. In the New Testament everything was in the name of Jesus. His name is upon all His own chosen ones. But it does not just mean that His name rests on them, it means that the Lord is there.
I want you to take hold of this, every one of you individually. I want to say to myself now: If I really am a believer in the Lord Jesus, if I really am a born again child of God, then the name of the Lord rests upon me. I have been put under the name of the Lord and that means that the Lord is there. It means that the Lord is in me; that the Lord is with me; and the Lord is for me. That is what it means to have the name of the Lord on us. It does not just mean that we are called Christians, but it means that the Lord is with us. Now that is true of everyone individually.
Now, have you said that to yourselves?
Are you really taking this as meaning that what is true for the
individual believer is also true for the company of the believers?
I suppose that this company here in Peitou would be called a
Christian church, a company of Christians in that way. You take
the name of Christ on yourselves, but the real meaning of having
His name is that the Lord is there, the Lord is amongst you.
When I turn to this prophecy and look to
see what it means that the Lord's name was there, I find too many
things to mention in this little time, but I can mention one or
two things. Here is this statement: "The Lord is in the midst of
thee as a mighty one. The Lord in the midst of thee is Mighty."
That is what it means to have the name. The Mighty One is in the midst. That gathers up everything possible. If only the Lord is in the midst and with us, then anything can happen. The Lord is Almighty, He is mightier than all the others. What a wonderful thing it is to have Him in the midst, to be able to say that such a Lord is there. Everything is possible. Great things can happen when He is there. There is nothing impossible with God and He is there.
And then another thing is said about that. The Lord said that His being there would defend His people. There was a time when the enemies gathered around Jerusalem and the Lord said, "I will defend this city. I will take on this matter of meeting the enemy. You people are weak and you are helpless, but I am with you and I will defend this place." That is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Of course, we have many enemies and they are too many and too strong for us. They are all around you in this place and there is the great enemy Satan, and he wants to destroy. He wants to break up your fellowship, but if the Lord is there, the Lord says, "I will defend this." The Lord will take on the matter of meeting our enemy for us.
Then there is another thing. The Lord said, "In this place will I give peace." It's a wonderful thing to have the Lord present as our peace. Well, you see, I can go on like this for a long time and it's just like going round the clock. At every point of the clock, it says something that has a meaning. "The Lord is with you"; there is a hand on the clock, and it turns a little and that represents where the Lord is. The Lord is right in the midst at the end. Now the hands go round and it tells you what it means. It said firstly at 12 o'clock that the Lord in the midst of thee is mighty. And so you go round the clock, and I would suggest that you make a study of it. You look at the prophets and see what it means that the Lord is there. It is a great and wonderful thing to have the Lord with us.
I am going to tell you a story. Some years ago there was a great servant of God in America. One Saturday afternoon, he was sitting in his study meditating upon the Word to preach the next day. He had a great church in one of the great cities in America. There was quite a beautiful building, there was a great congregation, and he had a big choir and a beautiful organ. As he was sitting in his chair that Saturday afternoon, he went to sleep and he had a dream.
He dreamt that he was in his pulpit in his church. The church was crowded and just as he was about to begin the service, the door at the back of the building opened and a stranger came in. This stranger walked down between the people, looking for a seat, and then someone got up and gave him a seat and the service began. This servant of God said, "While I was conducting the service, all the time I was giving my message, my eyes kept going toward that stranger. I couldn't help looking at him. And every time I took my eyes away, they would come back again. I noticed something about him, for he looked as though he was a man who had some great sorrow, and yet there was something very beautiful about his face. There was a light in his face that I have never seen in anyone's face before. He was not an ordinary stranger and so I came back again and again with my eyes on him and I decided that when the service was over, I would go over and speak to him.
"So I went through the service and I closed it, and then I went down to greet the stranger. But before I got to him, he was gone, and all the people had got out of their seats and I was unable to get to the stranger. So I went to the man who had given him the seat, and I said, 'Can you tell me who he was?' He said, 'That was Jesus of Nazareth.' 'Jesus of Nazareth has been in our church this morning?' I wondered what I had said about Him. Did I say anything that would offend Him? Jesus of Nazareth had been in our church this morning! He had seen everything. He had heard everything. He could have told me all those things that I want so much to know! And I said to that man, 'Oh, why didn't you keep Him here? I would have loved to talk to Him.' 'Oh,' said the man who had given Him the seat, 'Don't worry, He has been here today, He will come again.'"
Then the man of God said, "I woke up and I found it was a dream. And I can never preach without remembering that Jesus is there. It makes all the difference to know that Jesus is where I am." And that servant of God, as a result of his dream, wrote some books. He wrote two great books, and those books have been a great help in my own life. One was "The Ministry of the Holy Spirit" and he said that book meant that Jesus is here today. The fact that the Holy Spirit is here with us means that Jesus is here. Jesus, by the Spirit, is here and sees everything. He hears everything. He knows everything.
Oh, what a wonderful thing that Jesus is here today! And then he wrote another book and he called it "He is Coming Again". That was a great book on the coming again of the Lord. He is here today, and He is coming again! That was a wonderful dream. That servant of God wrote that dream in a little book and he called it, "How Christ Came to Church".
Jehovah Shammah... The Lord is There. Well, you take that as a message for you. Jesus said, "Wheresoever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst." Are you two or three gathered in His name? Well, you can write over that "Jehovah Shammah", the Lord is There. But He is seeing everything and He is here, and He knows everything, but the blessed message is: "He is coming again." There are many of us who believe it won't be long and He will come again; not just come and visit you, for He said, "I will come and receive you again." Now, I wonder if you will write that on your gate, but do write it over your meeting!