The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In the Body the young ones, the middle-aged ones, and the elderly ones are all one. Any dissenting between the young ones and the older ones is absolutely wrong. It is not of the Body. Yes, the young saints who are burdened for the campuses need to be free to have their own meetings, and the older ones should not interfere with them or make suggestions to them. However, we still need to have fellowship. The older ones need the fellowship of the younger ones, and the younger ones even the more need the fellowship of the older ones. We must always maintain a pleasant atmosphere and a good spirit. In Los Angeles there may be three halls, but there should be one pleasant spirit with a very sweet oneness. The young ones must be faithful to go to the campuses for the Lord’s testimony, and the older ones, not interfering with the young ones, should pray for them, stand behind them, support them, and strengthen them. The young ones should also respect the older ones and seek their help, prayers, and wise counsel. If this is the case, what a pleasant situation there will be among us.

The Body is one. No matter how many halls a certain church may have, there is still one church in that locality. The church in Taipei, for example, has at least seventeen halls. Counting only those who are seniors in college or who have recently graduated, the number of serving young people is over one thousand. These one thousand serving ones are scattered throughout the seventeen halls. Nevertheless, they all are one. Two years ago, by the Lord’s mercy, so many of the older ones who were elders, deacons, and deaconesses resigned from their service for the Lord’s purpose. Approximately eight hundred of these older ones, many of whom had been in the church since the beginning in 1948, resigned, allowing the young people to take up their places of service. After a year and a half the young people came up. They are absolutely one with the older ones. They respect the older ones, and the older ones love them, pray for them, stand with them, support them, and sustain them. They all are one. What a pleasant atmosphere there is in the church in Taipei! What a testimony this is to the whole earth!


Young people, we are not a movement, and we are not merely for any type of campus work. We are only for the Lord’s recovery. If you were to offer me the whole world, I would say, "I don’t want it. I only want the Lord’s recovery." It is absolutely wrong to offend the recovery by damaging the unity. We are not for a movement or for a work; we are for the Lord’s recovery, which is based upon unity. If we lose our unity, we are no longer the recovery. Rather, we become a part of today’s Christianity. The thing that most distinguishes us from Christianity is the unique unity. We care for this unity. Never allow the work on the campuses to damage the unity. It is a terribly serious matter to damage the Lord’s recovery by breaking the unity.

The unity about which we are speaking is the universal oneness of the Body. We do not practice unity simply among ourselves, but with all believers. We love all believers in Christ, including those in the Catholic Church and in all the denominations and free groups. Although we love all Christians, we do not care to participate in their divisions. Whether or not they want to be one with us in the unique unity depends on them. But even if they do not desire this, we still love them. We should not do anything that causes division. Rather, we would sacrifice anything and everything for the sake of keeping the unique unity. We would never tolerate anything that would cause a separation or a division. We do not care for numbers—we care for unity. We do not want to have a large number, yet be full of divisions. It is better to have just five hundred who continuously keep the unity.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)