Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee

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We can do nothing without eating. Today we simply need to eat Christ. He is our life in the form of food. Christ came to present Himself as the bread of life. One day a Canaanite woman came to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David!” The Lord Jesus answered, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (Matt. 15:22, 26). This was quite meaningful. The woman called the Lord Jesus the Son of David, a descendant of the royal family, but the Lord Jesus in His answer indicated that He was bread for the children. The Lord seemed to say, “Don’t consider that I am the royal descendant. I have come here as bread to you. I am the bread to the children. Consider Me in this way.” The woman was clever and immediately took her position. She said, “Yes, Lord. You are right. You are the bread to the children, and I am a Gentile dog. Yet even the dogs have their portion—the crumbs under the table. You, Jesus, are now under the table. You have been thrown off the table by the naughty Jewish people. Now it is my turn. You are on the Gentile floor as crumbs to be my portion.” The natural, human, and religious concepts are that Jesus is the Son of David, of the royal family, even the King. The divine concept, however, is that Jesus as the very God has come to be our life in the form of food. Therefore, we must eat Him.


Jesus died on the cross, and in resurrection He was transfigured from the flesh into the Spirit, as 1 Corinthians 15:45b says, “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” In the book of 1 Corinthians Paul points out that the Corinthian believers’ need was not gifts or knowledge but the life-giving Spirit and the eating of Jesus. The Corinthian believers made the mistake of taking knowledge and gifts. First Corinthians 1:7 says, “So that you do not lack in any gift, eagerly awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Corinthians did not lack in any gift. They had all the gifts, and they had all knowledge, but they were not matured saints. Chapter three says, “And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to fleshy, as to infants in Christ” (v. 1). The Corinthians had knowledge, but they were still infants.

In 8:1 Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up.” Knowledge kills us because knowledge is something of the tree of knowledge. It is not something of the tree of life. The Corinthians held the concept that they needed knowledge and gifts, but according to Paul they were still infants. The apostle Paul’s concept was that they needed to eat Christ. In 10:3 and 4 Paul says, “And all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.” In chapter three Paul said, “I gave you milk to drink” (v. 2). The Corinthians wrongly took knowledge and the gifts, so Paul adjusted them by telling them that their need was Christ as their food. The last Adam became the Spirit who gives life. They needed to take in this Christ. The church has missed the mark, not only today in this century but even in the first century. The Corinthians missed the mark by turning aside from the eating of Jesus to knowledge and gifts. As a result, the church became degraded. The degradation of the church came from emphasizing teachings, knowledge, and gifts.


In the seven epistles in Revelation, the Lord Jesus spoke to the churches concerning teachings and works (2:2, 6, 14-15, 20). He seemed to be saying, “You have the teaching of Balaam, you have the teaching of the Nicolaitans, and you are taught by the woman Jezebel. You also have done many things for Me. You have knowledge, you have the doctrines, you have teachings, and you have all the gifts. However, you have missed eating Me.” In these seven epistles, the Lord Jesus promised the overcomers that they would eat. He did not promise them to know, to do, or to work, but to eat of the tree of life. This is the Lord’s recovery. Are you recovered? Today many of us talk much about the recovery, but I must check with you: What is the Lord’s recovery? The recovery is to bring us back to the origin, back to the beginning. What was in the beginning, at the origin? There was the eating of the tree of life. May the Lord be merciful to us that our eyes would be opened. May we see today that we need the eating of Jesus as the tree of life. Therefore, we need to overcome not only our temper, today’s fashions, or the pursuit of a doctor’s degree. We need to overcome all the degraded teachings of today’s Christianity.

I myself was born and raised in fundamental Christianity, and I was with the Plymouth Brethren for seven and a half years. They are very strict and famous for their teaching, and I received much knowledge from them. It took fifteen years to unload all the distracting knowledge I received from them. Today many dear hungry and seeking Christians are distracted and led away by all the teachings from the enjoyment and eating of Christ. Now the Lord is recovering us and bringing us back from all the teachings in today’s degraded Christianity to the pure eating of Jesus.

(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)