The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In dealing with opposers, we need to prepare ourselves by reading the many books we have printed. One brother read a certain book against us and was poisoned by it. But then he read our books and was helped.

The opposers are fond of twisting my words. Yes, in one of my books I said that the church is one with the Triune God. Thus, the Triune God and the church are four in one. The Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in the church. This is four in one. But the opposers twist this sentence and say that we deify the church and worship it. What a perversion! To understand the one sentence you need to read not only the entire paragraph, but also the whole book. It is not fair to isolate a sentence or a phrase. Everything printed by us has been thoroughly considered. Usually it is the result of years of study and experience. We have the full assurance that whatever we put in print is according to the Scriptures.

The Bible is the basis for whatever we say. In its attack upon us, The Mindbenders does not quote from the Bible. The accusations leveled against us in that book are based on historic Christianity, not the Bible. We follow the Bible, not history. If Martin Luther had followed the historic church, there would not have been the recovery of justification by faith.

If possible, read all our books. When you meet an opposer who isolates certain sentences and twists our words, go to the book and read it yourself. Be prepared. Then you will know how to answer others.

First Peter 3:15 says, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." The Greek word rendered "answer" in this verse means an answer given as a defense. In order to give such an answer, you must know what we are standing for and what we are enjoying. Then when the opposers ask certain things, you will be able to make your defense and you will know how to answer. This cannot be done without preparation. Someone may say to you, "Why do you say that you are the church and that other groups are not the church?" This question requires a long answer; it cannot be answered superficially. In order to answer a question like this, you need to be prepared.

As you face the opposers, do not argue and lose your temper. No matter how much others may accuse and oppose, do not be angry with them, but be pleasant and patient. Do not consider anyone an enemy or a hopeless case. Rather, do your best to help others understand what we are enjoying and leave the results to the Lord.

Let us now summarize the points covered in this message. We should insist upon the basic doctrines, those that constitute the faith and are necessary for salvation, but not on any other doctrines. Among us there should be no assuming of authority or desire for rank, position, or title. Also, there should be no obedience or submission according to the worldly way. Instead, we all must learn to walk in the spirit. The elders should take the lead, and the rest should follow. If we do all these things, the Lord’s testimony will spread. Then others, the opposers in particular, need to be helped. We should not consider them as enemies or hopeless cases, but love them and try our best to present to them what we are enjoying of the Lord. By helping others and by presenting what we are enjoying to them, we ourselves shall learn a great deal. Perhaps today you may not know very much. But if you have the heart to present things to others, month after month you will learn more and you will grow not only in life, but also in knowledge. This will help the Lord’s recovery to go on. The ones you contact may never turn this way. But through your presentation, they will be enlightened and perhaps even convinced and subdued. At least, their opposition will be calmed down, and they will not oppose you so fiercely. No matter how many books are written against us, eventually all the Christians will realize that those in the local churches are holy ones, those who believe in the holy Word, walk in the spirit, and follow the Lord in His way. The consciences even of the opposers will testify to this. Let us go on boldly. Let us love one another as brothers and go on together for the Lord’s testimony. We should also love the outsiders, help them, and present the Lord’s testimony to them. Then the Lord’s presence will be with us, and His blessing will be upon us.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 21, by Witness Lee)