A BUILDED CHURCH HAVING THE FLOW AND SUPPLY OF LIFE
Third, a builded church has the flow and supply of life. The Scriptures show us that there is a river of water of life proceeding out of the throne, and on both sides of the river there is the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, and yielding its fruits each month (Rev. 22:1-2). This indicates that in God’s presence and God’s reigning there is the flow of life. Here there is the water of life which quenches people’s thirst and causes people to be watered. Here there are also the fruits of the tree of life which enable the hungry people to be satisfied. Everyone who comes here can obtain the supply he needs.
A church which has truly been built up surely has this kind of condition. In a built up church you will touch the flow as well as the moving of God’s life. Whoever goes there will receive the supply. I believe that we all have this kind of experience. In some places the brothers and sisters who rise up to serve the Lord do not know many doctrines, but they are one and harmonious in the Lord. When you go to their meeting, you can sense the presence of the Lord, the authority of the Lord, and the moving of the water of life. When a brother rises up to speak a few words, you sense the watering of the living water which quenches your thirst. When another brother gives a testimony, or a sister offers a short prayer, you also sense that the testimony and prayer are spiritual food which bring you satisfaction. In this place you see a church which has been built up.
After a period of time, however, two able preachers are raised up among them. Both of them are eloquent, and both seem to have much light and to be quite gifted. However, due to the raising up of these two brothers, the church is filled with death because these two brothers are in discord and against each other. If one of them gives a message on the Lord’s Day morning, the following Lord’s Day when it is the other brother’s turn to speak, he gives a message to refute the other one’s message. Then the following Lord’s Day morning the first brother speaks again and gives a message against the other brother. Their voices are loud and clear, their words are flowing, their utterances are excellent, and their stories, illustrations, and quotations from the Scriptures are very suitable and proper. Their messages are truly appealing, but the pitiful thing is that there is neither living water nor living food. All those who have consciousness in their spirit will tell you that neither the presence of God nor the blessing of God is there. This is because there is no building there.
If a church has experienced the building and there is harmony among the saints, then surely that place will have the flow of the water of life as well as the supply of the food of life. When people go into the midst of these believers, they may not hear a good message, but surely they will touch the living water and food, and they will also sense God’s presence and God’s ruling. They will be watered, they will be satisfied, and they will have rest.
A BUILDED CHURCH HAVING LIGHT
Fourth, a builded church has light. In the New Jerusalem there is light (Rev. 21:23). This light is not natural light, neither is it the light of the sun or of the moon; this light is God Himself. God is the light while Christ is the lamp. God shines forth His glory in Christ, and this glory is the light of the city. That the city has no need of the sun or of the moon means that in this building there is no need of natural light. The God who is manifested in their midst in Christ is the light. Or we may say that God in Christ expressed through them is the light. Therefore, when you go into the midst of a group of people like this, you feel that it is bright there. This is just like the situation in a meeting hall filled with light. The electricity that shines forth is expressed through fluorescent lamps to become light. Hence, when you walk into a room like this, everything is clear: you can see chairs, people sitting down, the entrance, and the hallway. You can see everything clearly.
Very often when you are in the midst of a builded church, you also will sense that there is light and that it is bright there. You may have some private problems that you do not know how to deal with although you have prayed, read the Scriptures, and sought the will of God. But when you go to a meeting of a built up church and sit among them, you will feel enlightened. Sometimes just by listening to a prayer you are filled with light within. Sometimes by their singing a hymn, or by someone standing up to read a verse from the Scriptures, or even just by the atmosphere of their meeting, you become clear and enlightened. This is because there is light there, and the glory of God is expressed. This kind of situation tells us that that church has been built up.
The manifestation of God is altogether due to the presence of God, and God’s presence is altogether due to the oneness and harmony among the saints. This oneness and harmony are the building. If among the brothers and sisters there is friction, opinion, disharmony, and discord, then when you go into their midst, you will sense darkness instead of light. Their messages might be very good, and their prayers might be very loud, but you cannot sense any light there. This is because there is no building of God among them.
If a church has been built up, that church surely will have these four conditions: first, it will have God as the temple—God’s presence; second, it will have God’s throne—God’s ruling; third, it will have the flow and supply of God’s life; and fourth, it will have God’s light. If we have these conditions, this proves that we have been built up because only in the building can we have all these blessings of God.
(The Building Work of God, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)