ENJOYING GRACE IN THE CHURCH LIFE
In the local churches we are daily under the dew, under the grace. Whether we are married or single, old or young, we are under the dew that descends upon the mountains of Zion. Oh, how we enjoy the Lord’s sufficient, exceeding, manifold, abundant grace! This grace is the very Lord Jesus Christ Himself as our life supply. If we wish to enjoy this grace in full, we need to be in the church life. According to Psalm 133, the grace does not descend upon the homes of individual believers; it descends upon the mountains of Zion, which typify the local churches. Thus, if we would enjoy the dew that descends from Mount Hermon, we need to be on one of the peaks of Zion. If those two brothers in Chefoo had separated themselves from the church life, they would have cut themselves off from the Lord’s grace. Instead of having their problem settled through the Lord’s grace in the church, they would have probably tried to settle it in a worldly court of law. Lacking the grace of the Lord, they would have continued to argue with one another according to right and wrong. But because they remained in the church life, the heavenly dew descended upon them, and they enjoyed a wonderful solution to their problem. In the church life the dew descends upon us richly. We are happy because we have the abundant supply of the all-sufficient grace.
The anointing oil and the watering dew are found in the church. Here we experience the anointing, the "painting," of the processed Triune God. Simultaneously, we enjoy the processed God as grace, as the life supply for our enjoyment. By this grace we can live a life that it is impossible for people in the world to live. The brothers can love their wives to the uttermost, and the sisters can submit to their husbands in a full way. Such a living is possible through the grace we receive on the mountains of Zion.
We should never underestimate the importance of the church as a corporate person who receives the ointment and as the place under the descending dew. If we separate ourselves from the church in these two aspects, we have no further share in the anointing, and we are finished with the enjoyment of the dew. Other Christians may criticize us for bearing such a testimony concerning the church life. They may accuse us of narrowness and support their accusation with a word about God’s omnipresence. These believers may say that as long as they pray and read the Bible, they can experience the Lord in a full way outside the church life. However, many of us can testify of the difference it makes to be in the church. Yes, we can pray and read the Word alone at home. When we do this, we receive a certain amount of grace. This measure of grace, however, is not as sweet, rich, powerful, inspiring, or sufficient as the grace we receive in the church. I can testify that, no matter whether the meetings of the church are high or low, rich or poor, I experience the ointment and the dew whenever I come to the meetings. The more I come to the meetings, the more I am preserved in the Lord’s grace. Those, on the contrary, who separate themselves from the church life, cut themselves off from the full supply of grace. Apart from the Lord’s mercy, they may find themselves wholly back in the world after a certain period of time.
Let us come to the church meetings, even when the meetings do not seem to be particularly rich. Simply by attending the meetings we are preserved, for the dew still descends upon the mountains of Zion. Thus, simply by being in the meetings, we are under the watering dew. Our experience has confirmed this again and again.
EXPERIENCING TRUE ONENESS AND PRESERVING IT
The oneness about which we have been speaking is the precious ointment upon Christ the Head and the refreshing dew that descends upon the mountains of Zion. It makes a tremendous difference whether we remain in this oneness or forsake it. Christians today feel free to come and go because they do not see this genuine oneness. They do not have the preserving and keeping element the oneness affords. In His recovery the Lord has shown us that real oneness is the mingling of the processed Triune God with His chosen people. On the one hand, the processed God is the compound, all-inclusive Spirit that anoints us and "paints" us day by day. On the other hand, the processed God is the life supply for our enjoyment. Under this anointing oil and watering dew we experience true oneness. As long as we remain in the experience of the ointment and the dew, it is not possible for us to be divided. Rather, we are preserved in oneness. This is the meaning of Paul’s word in Ephesians 4:3 about endeavoring to keep the oneness of the Spirit. Actually, this oneness is simply the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit Himself. We guard and preserve this oneness by remaining under the anointing oil and the watering dew.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)