The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

More excerpts from this title...


Sometimes people have argued with me and said, "Brother Lee, denominational names are not important. They are simply a matter of convenience and do not mean anything." I replied, "If the names do not mean anything, why don’t you get rid of them? You say the name means nothing, yet you still bear the name Luther. You are Mrs. Smith, but you wear a name tag that says Mrs. Jones. If you are Mrs. Smith, why do you go by another name? If, as you say, this means nothing and is just a convenience, then drop it. If you keep the title Mrs. Jones, it must mean that Mr. Jones is your illegal husband. How ridiculous for you to say that you have never met Mr. Jones and that you simply use his name as a convenience!"

Throughout the years I have done a great deal of traveling. I do not care to talk to those sitting next to me on the airplane because they often ask me questions that are difficult to answer. In talking to people they usually find out that I am a Christian. Then the question is asked about what kind of Christian I am. I find this an insult. Many times I have said, "I am simply a Christian. Please don’t ask me what kind of Christian I am, for there is only one kind of Christian. If I were to say that I am the moon, would you ask what kind of moon I am? This would be foolish. There is just one moon. Please don’t ask me what kind of moon I am." Sometimes people do not believe that I am simply a Christian. They insist that I must be a certain kind of Christian. Sometimes I am very strong with them and say, "If you can’t believe me, it means that you are absolutely wrong. I cannot lie to you. I simply am what I am. I am just a Christian."

More than twenty years ago I met an American missionary at a retreat center in the Philippines. He proudly told me that he was a member of the Church of the Nazarene. Until then, I knew nothing of this denomination. The name, the Church of the Nazarene, sounds abnormal. It is confusion.


The Babylonian spirit may still be in our blood. The Lord’s recovery is mainly to bring us back to the genuine oneness, to the unique husband, to the one Body, and to the one Spirit. If we lose this oneness, we are no longer in the Lord’s recovery. Rather, we are repeating the history of Christianity, which is a history of divisions.

Many Christians do not care about this matter of division. They say, "The Lord is not narrow. God is omnipresent. Why are you so narrow?" If we know the Bible, we shall see that with respect to division God is more than narrow. He will not permit any husband other than Christ. Read Deuteronomy 12, 14, 15, and 16 and see how narrow our God is. He told His people that they had no right to worship Him in the place of their choosing. Rather, they had to go to the unique place which He had designated for the worship of God. In this matter, God was narrow.

Those in the charismatic movement talk about the Body, but they do not care about divisions. As long as we are not in the oneness, we are not in the Body. Instead, we are in a division. This is a serious matter.

Most of those who came into the Lord’s recovery before 1970 are clear regarding the unique oneness. However, those who have come into the recovery after 1970 may not be clear about this. During the first seven years of the Lord’s recovery in this country, we spoke again and again about the unique oneness and about the unique ground of the church. But even those who are clear about the oneness of the church may find that the vision is fading. At times, the vision may even vanish. Thus, the vision of the unique ground of oneness needs to be restored.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)